Settling for living on the edge
March 10, 2009
Sometimes, I think I’ll never understand my parents. In some ways, they seem just like kids.
Our lines of parenthood and daughterhood have become blurred, redrawn, fuzzed over, drawn again and scuffed up. That happens with most relationships, I think, over time, so I’m not worried that it’s happened. It’s just a little whelming to try and prepare for the future only to hear my dad tell me that they’ll be fine at this rather subsistence level of living because, “Everyone else does it, and what would we do with luxury anyway?”
Uh, having basic health needs met in a timely manner is a luxury? Having to wait 4-6 months to have your general physician get back to you about rescheduling a follow-up is acceptable? Therefore, long term care insurance is a luxury? Maybe I’ve become spoiled, but my idea of basic health insurance does not mean the same thing as it does to them. They’ve become accustomed to the kind of care available to the indigent, and I don’t want that to be the rest of their lives.
Aside from that, let’s be honest here: the insurance is helpful to me and my sanity. We come as a pair, you don’t want us separated. As I’ve pointed out before, my dad is mom’s primary caretaker. I bring in the income. So if anything happens to dad? This already precarious house of cards come tumblin’ down.
I get that he doesn’t want me to be paying out more money, I get that he doesn’t want me “risking” any more. But I don’t get the logic of “don’t create a cushion for later on by spending a small amount now.” Talk about penny-wise, pound-foolish. Either he’s simply lost all perspective and today’s dollar is worth way more than tomorrow’s ten (and sanity, and breathing space) or he just doesn’t want to quit smoking.
At this point, I just hope it’s the latter.
Related reading links:
Lazy Man and Money’s Helping Parents Cope with Damage to Their Retirement Nest Egg