How Millionaire Elderly Retire - It Ain't the Bleak Home Your Mom Fears

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    Jan 30, 2014 4:26 PM GMT
    My husband & I had a very busy day yesterday, out of the house 12 hours straight. Ending with dinner at a luxury retirement community that only accepts multi-millionaires. You might wonder why the mega-rich would want such a place, when they could have adequate personalized care in their own homes.

    But I learned that many of them don't want to be lonely & isolated, when their reduced mobility forces them into a very low activity level. Almost EVERYONE I saw was using walkers, or electric carts, and many had personal companions or nurses at their side.

    Plus I'm told some find their former homes (or estates) too large to navigate easily and enjoy. Plus they want their children to take possession of them now, before they die, or have the proceeds from their sale. And they recognize their children have their own lives, the 2 generations may not be compatible living together. So they move out and go live with other elderly, at a place that has 24-hour medical care.

    But what places! The widow we visited, whom we've known for years and just moved there, has an 8-room apartment all alone, exquisitely furnished by herself. Yet every room has pull cords to the medical office. Her maid, who's been with her for 35 years and also cooks, still works for her (but only comes during the day and for evening parties).

    Their private restaurant where we ate (not a community dining room, but a real restaurant with a broad menu) requires jackets for the men, no exceptions, for us visiting, too. First we had cocktails seated in a residential-style "living room" while a live grand piano played.

    When some of the residents went inside to eat, their hired companions separated to sit in a special designated waiting area, out of sight. But a few of the elderly were so feeble they needed help at the table, and so their companions were permitted to be inside, suitably & discretely dressed, of course, no hospital whites.

    I had never seen anything like this in my life, I had no idea such places existed. I thought the mega-rich just remained in their great estates until the end. But last night I learned about an alternative.
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    Jan 30, 2014 4:56 PM GMT
    Quality life until the end ...why not if you have the means . icon_smile.gif
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    Jan 30, 2014 6:37 PM GMT
    neffa saidQuality life until the end ...why not if you have the means . icon_smile.gif

    Quality or unreasonably privileged, while the wealth gap continues to widen.
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    Jan 30, 2014 9:12 PM GMT
    On the highest point in Queens in the middle of a bucolic golf course on the Nassau county border, roughly a half hour from Manhattan by either door-to-door commuter bus or car (which you could garage underground for a "ridiculously low" $75 a month, in the city you'd pay at least $400), are three doorman high rise buildings with huge apartments ranging from oversized studios with balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows to 2,500sf 4 bedroom penthouses with enormous terraces. This is North Shore Towers and every unit is flooded with natural light and boasts stellar views. On the site of a former country club, the development was originally built in the '70s as a swinging singles rental complex for divorcees (a former resident was Howard Stern), it was built with two outdoor and one indoor pool and a gym, with these amenities plus three buildings connected underground by a sunlit shopping concourse complete with supermarket and movie theater. You could live there your whole life without stepping outdoors and never feel trapped. After Hurricane Sandy people from all over came to stay there with their relatives because it had its own generator and power. The reserve fund is enormous despite the incredible landscaping and daily white glove maintenance.

    Steps from one of the best hospitals in the country, when the complex went condo people of even reasonable means very quickly figured out it was a fantastic place to retire. Wealthy Long Islanders sell their mansions to live here, even those that first retired to Manhattan - for many, selling the suburban house and moving to North Shore Towers is a rite of passage, a place where former neighbors reunite with each other (not unlike Boynton today). Though the occasional young person moves in for the amenities ($179K for a studio and $650K for a corner 2 bedroom) now 90% of the population is over 65. Most never move on to pricier high end assisted living because their caregivers can wheel them around the concourse year round, they can order up from the diner, and most winter at their second homes in Florida or Arizona. Almost ALL eventually sell their winter homes, choosing to die in New York, in their own apartments if not in nursing homes or hospices at the last possible moment. Again, you don't have to be wealthy to live here - alcove studios already converted to one bedrooms with city views start at around $200K.

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    Jan 31, 2014 2:13 AM GMT
    eagermuscle saidAlmost ALL eventually sell their winter homes, choosing to die in New York, in their own apartments if not in nursing homes or hospices at the last possible moment.

    Whereas for many, Florida is the choice to die, as it was for my parents. How strange that is to me, that we make a choice of death.

    But then I was upset when my parents made their own final arrangements. I thought to myself: you're not supposed to be thinking about that, Mom & Dad, I don't WANT you thinking about that. I guess because I myself didn't want to be thinking about them dying, I wanted them to live forever. icon_sad.gif

    The wealthy widow who invited us there last night was very frank. "This is the best place for me, I know that. I'm happy here, but, hey [with a shoulder shrug], I'm not thrilled about it, either." I admired her courage.

    So we were happy to visit her, see her again and cheer her up. She's got one of her musical soirées planned shortly we'll be attending, she kept her grand piano. My husband may be doing a vocal solo.

    She's had a few stroke-like incidents, what she claims were TIAs, but I suspect a little more. She's already had one since she moved in there a few months ago. And the on-site medical staff responded under 5 minutes. Well, that's what she's paying for. Life can be tough, and dying is tougher. icon_sad.gif
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    Feb 01, 2014 1:59 AM GMT
    article_2177c9ac1ce0ef4e_1343496992_9j-4
    LOL... all this time and I never realized SB was Onslow!
    It all makes perfectly good sense now...icon_razz.gif
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    Feb 01, 2014 2:00 AM GMT
    YourName2000 saidAwwww.....poor SB. Everyone's ignoring his pathetic attempts to get someone to talk to him. D'awwwwwwwwwww. icon_cry.gif The poor dear might actually have to drag his fat ass out of bed for some company.

    So very sad. icon_sad.gif

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    Oh, is that nutjob stalking me again? I have him on Ignore. He makes a hobby of following me around RJ and trying to trash & derail any thread I start. As well as spreading all kinds of lies he invents about me. Can you think of anything more pathetic? icon_razz.gif
  • whytehot

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    Feb 01, 2014 2:34 AM GMT
    ART_DECO saidMy husband & I had a very busy day yesterday... Ending with dinner at a luxury retirement community that only accepts multi-millionaires...



    ^^The gist of the story.
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    Feb 01, 2014 2:56 AM GMT
    whytehot said
    ART_DECO saidMy husband & I had a very busy day yesterday... Ending with dinner at a luxury retirement community that only accepts multi-millionaires...

    ^^The gist of the story.

    No, the gist is that we were the non-millionaire guests, who got to experience what the other half has, during a rare look at their lives. Try to work on your reading skills.
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    Feb 01, 2014 3:47 AM GMT
    YourName2000 said
    ART_DECO saidthe gist is that we were the non-millionaire guests, who got to experience what the other half has, during a rare look at their lives.

    I actually can't even imagine that kind of extravagance...it doesn't even really appeal to me. It seems like such a throw-back to elitist Victorian sensibilities. That kind of ostentatiousness would seem like a wall keeping too many interesting people at bay (which I'm sure is the point.) But frankly being surrounded by such self-absorption would grow tedious quickly. Yeah Mariebelle, I get it: you think you're awesome. icon_rolleyes.gif

    I wouldn't even mind so much that all my fellow residents were old, boring & decrepit. I used to volunteer at a retirement community with various levels of care, from private apartments, to ALF, to hospital, all the way to an Alzheimer's lock-down unit. That last was the toughest.

    And I enjoy the company of older people, they have much to teach us. And nowadays I relate more to them. But these examples...

    I think the most offensive to me was when I saw their paid companions exiled to a separate waiting area while their employers went into the restaurant, not even provided any food or drink, just left to sit there.

    And guess what? Most of them were Black, whereas I didn't see a single Black person in the restaurant, except for one companion hand-feeding her rather non-responsive charge. Oh, and of course the serving staff, who were almost all Black, too. I didn't like that at all.

    So while I was awed by it all, a wealthy world I didn't know existed for the elderly, it left me with some troubling feelings. And makes me want to believe that if I had money like that I would spend it better on others, rather than on myself for foolish luxuries. I like comfortable living, but that was selfish living in my view, and I can't endorse that.
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    Feb 01, 2014 4:13 AM GMT
    YourName2000 said
    My dream old-age home is some place where interacting with other generations is built into the experience somehow. Waiting to die with a bunch of other nearly-deads just has no appeal to me. Maybe I'll feel differently when it's me though, haha.

    That would be somewhat like the place where I volunteered, in my early 50s. I visited with the residents, read books to them, singly or in group readings, chatted, called Bingo games (and also a simplified Bingo version for the ones whose mental abilities were very diminished), did other community activities with them. I wheeled them outside in the summer to sit & talk, sometimes we had outdoor "ice cream socials" where I served them.

    Not every day, just when I could, and I wasn't paid. And determined that I never wanted to be in a place like that myself, my body & mind so far gone that I'd have no choice. Even the lap of luxury I witnessed last week wouldn't appeal to me, if I were that enfeebled.

    Both my parents hoped to die avoiding such a place, and they did. Necessary to go there if you must, but better if you mustn't. Even in a super-luxury setting I had no idea even existed, I still wouldn't want to go.