People need to plan for aging and for retirement. The problem is, even when someone plans and prepares, the preparation isn't always enough.
Let's use my life as an example. Social Security isn't enough for retirement, but I thought with my teacher retirement and my Social Security and my husband's Social Security, we would manage. We wouldn't live as well as we did before I had to leave teaching, but we could be comfortable.
However, I had no way of knowing that supplement insurance premiums would raise three times in less than a year, and then Medicare and insurance premiums yearly thereafter. However, Social Security and retirement didn't match premium increases, not even close. Cost of living and the crash of the economy and a rise in co-payments and Medicare deductibles reduced buying power of what funds we had left.
So what could I have done differently? With my poor health, I couldn't teach longer, but I should have prepared more when younger, with extra savings, including an IRA, from the time I was much younger. We should have found a way to have our house paid off before I had to retire. My husband should have had disability insurance.
When we are young, we think we have time to prepare for old age -- later. Even when people try to save for retirement, often they don't expect economical problems or poor health or other unforeseen problems that wipe out their expectations and savings. Things do happen, so all anyone can do is try to have at least twice what might be needed.
Putting back enough to have twice what might be needed isn't easy. Therefore, many of us face a difficult present and future. Apparently, few others understand or care, including our government. Medicare premiums increase as does the yearly deductible. Co-payments for prescriptions increase to the point that some people have paid up to an additional $200 or more per month for co-payments. Medicare care is limited, not by medical experts, but by rules set by bureaucracy. The list goes on.
A side note, everyone should be prepared for the same medical service under national health care. Medicare was touted as an example as to how universal care will work.
The cost of utilities, groceries, car expenses -- everything -- has risen drastically. Real estate taxes and house insurance premiums have doubled in the past five years.
Preparing for retirement or aging seems daunting, I know, but everyone needs to do whatever possible to be able to live without worrying about how to fix the roof so it doesn't leak when insurance doesn't cover repairs; to have a way for household help when physically one can't; to have a close friend or friends or family members who will step in when necessary; to have a church family who will put actions with their prayers.
When you're young, prepare for when you aren't.