We went to see the movie ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ last evening. The movie follows a group of British retirees who decide to “outsource” their retirement to less expensive and seemingly exotic India. It is a good laugh and highly entertaining, but I found my mind wandering to a different scenario with a not-so-funny outcome. I know many couples who are in their late 70s and early 80s who keep turning away when we mention that we live a retirement home. They are avoiding the subject and delaying the decision. It’s an easy path to follow and often prompted by economics. I went that way through my 70s but finally woke up in a panic one morning and took steps.
If you don’t make the decision while you are still thinking clearly, someone else will eventually make it for you, perhaps or most likely, one or all of your children and that’s when you could land up spending your Golden Years in the Best Exotic Marigold Retirement Home, or worse. The hotel turned out to be fine for the folks who went there, but if it wasn’t a movie, I doubt they would have enjoyed it.
The retirement home we chose is fine and much of the time fun and a great place to be. The majority of the residents come from the same background, are all reasonably educated, all speak the same languages and are equally tolerant about religion. We all seem to be happy with the same food and the same temperature of the air from the conditioning system. We enjoy the same movies and we all agree not to discuss politics.
But imagine if it wasn’t like that. Life would be irritating, back-biting and unpleasant and that’s exactly what could happen when someone other than you decides where you are going to spend your Golden Years.