What is your Path?

Retirement is based on what you can afford. The cost of housing and care suction a life worth of saving in just a few months.

Are you in the Forgotten Middle?

See what group you might be in. While it is hard to say, your retirement and aging plan comes down to your finances. It determines where you can live, the care you may receive, and who your advisors are. In a nutshell, those who need assistance from government programs will receive the support they need from the local and state government programs. Those who have a lot of assets will hire out their services and can afford the best.

The “Forgotten Middle” accounts for about half of all Seniors. These folks have too much money to receive services from the county or state, but not enough money to pay for the guidance they want. Between the cost of housing and care, many Seniors are seeing their life savings suction away so they are unable to leave a legacy to their loved ones or favorite charities. If they do visit an advisor, they may be told to “spend down your income so you can qualify for Medicaid or Elderly Waiver.” Why would we ask for our loved ones to purposefully bankrupt themselves? Seniors and their families need to have a different plan. We believe their plan is to include family members or trusted friends and advisors to create a team approach to your process.

Families with Aging Parents

Are your siblings and you trying to find a way to support your parents as they age in place in their homes? Balancing providing support and care for your parents along with raising your own family and working can be extra challenging.

The Johnson family reached out to Our Family Encounter for help with creating a schedule to provide support and care for their Dad who had been recently diagnosed with a terminal illness. The three children wanted to make sure their parents had their end of life, legal, wellness and financial wishes captured to help their Mom navigate the declining health of their Dad.

After reviewing the current situation of their parent’s estate planning, Our Family Encounter provided recommendations about steps and referrals to local professionals to complete their estate plan. Each family member, including the parents, were involved in the conversation about what Mom and Dad wanted and how each family member could contribute and support each other. Our Family Encounter also discussed housing, staying in touch with friends and loved ones, and legacy wishes with the family.

Sharing a meal with others

Aging Alone as a Solo Senior

A Solo Senior is someone living alone, whether by choice or circumstance. It could be they have family, but they live in another city or state. Other may be truly aging alone without any immediate family. Solo Seniors account for 26% of the US population over age 65. This number is expected to grow as people age. The incidents of self-neglect and financial exploitation is estimated to be as high as 50% or more with this demographic. 

Joe Smith reached out to Our Family Encounter to make sure he had his estate plan completed. He lived in another state from his adult children and wanted to make sure he had everything he needed. As a Veteran, Joe knew the value of having a complete plan in place. Working with the Veteran Administration needed extra time and follow up to make sure they had all the right documentation and to understand the required paperwork needed to complete his wishes for a burial at sea. Joe also wanted to understand how to have a healthcare directive that could be supported in more than one state as he liked to travel and spend his winters in warmer climates.

After Joe completed getting his end of life and legal wishes documented, based on his income, he has been able to consider alternative options for housing and staying in touch with others that supported his carefree lifestyle. We have found a way for Joe to attend a virtual social hour with other seniors from around the world during an online call. This lets him be connected to his peers no matter where he is traveling to with peace of mind that he has other’s looking out for him.

Your Journey with Our Family Encounter

The Our Family Encounter Journey

The day Our Family Encounter was born happened when a friend of mine shared with me a very important word: Encounter. At first, this word took me by surprise. When I looked up the word in the Webster Dictionary, it is defined as 1. to meet as an adversary or enemy or to engage in conflict, or 2. to come upon face-to-face. This definition did not make sense to me, so I went back to my friend. He suggested I read the homilies of Pope Francis. When I did, I read how we were to encounter the poor, immigrant, the young and the old. This was not to mean conflict, but to come along side of, as if we were on a journey together.

Everything starts with the book, Last Life Lesson: A Guide for Aging Adults and Their Families. Think of this book as your handbook. It covers all of the topics you need to consider. The best gift you can give your loved ones is written directions on your wishes and to have it paid for. At the end of every chapter is a checklist of the documents your executor or trustee will need to close your estate. If you want to organize your documents, the OFE Legacy Box collects your documents in one place. This process can be DIY (do it yourself), or with guidance. If you want to have a personal consultation, we estimate between 6-8 months to complete your plan.

The time frame between creating your aging plan and having to put it into place is unknown, but certain. Our goal is to help you create a solution which will allow you to preserve your wealth and assets while covering the costs for your care. We have developed two programs – the Family Caregiving Agreement for those who expect to have family members or trusted loved ones providing their care and the Family Caregiving Limited Liability Corporation for those who have assets which could fund a legacy for their heirs. We expect it will take some time to create and set up these two programs as they need to be in place before family members are paid.

The Check on Mom sensor is a project in development. This is a well check sensor currently under a provisional patent to help families or solo seniors as they go about their lives. During the years of the pandemic, we had clients share with us that they had neighbors who passed away in their homes and no one knew for days or weeks. The well check sensor allows us to have personal contact with someone in the event of an emergency or someone dies unexpectedly. We want everyone to know they are a part of the Family.

The final stage, or Implementation, is about putting your plans into action. We work with your family and trusted advisors to make sure you have your plans followed. We will advocate for your wishes to be followed and provide guidance during a health crisis or your death. The program has been designed to help your executor or trustee to close out your estate. So often people think everything is done when you are buried, have your going-home ceremony or internment of your ashes. The true end of your estate is when the Probate Court closes out your file and your heirs receive their inheritance. Often your Executor or Trustee are family members who have little to no experience with closing out an estate, so having an advisor for this process can bring piece of mind during a difficult time. This is also when most families have their most difficult times. We want to preserve and honor your most valuable asset – your loved ones and your last life lessons.


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