–Ask Larry Haubner for the secret to living 107 years, and the Fredericksburg man flexes his biceps, flashes a mostly toothless smile and growls. “Nutrition!” he bellows. “Exercise! I think we should all exercise more than we do.”
—Haubner’s room is spare, furnished mostly with donations. A recliner is flanked by ancient exercise equipment, including a homemade weight — an eight-kilogram lead ball inside a basket — that he lifts at least 20 times a day. “That’s what I do. If you want to do it,” he cautioned a visitor, “start with five times.”
Note: I tried this exercise with a laundry basket and my medicine ball, as a modified form of deadlifts. The ball rolls around a little, which is a good thing, as it forces you to adjust your balance and works your trunk.
–“Well, I ate the cake,” he said of his latest birthday celebration. “But I don’t believe cake is a good food.”
*The full article in the Washington Post covers Larry Haubner’s current financial dilemma. He has outlived his savings and his pension and social security won’t make up the difference needed to allow him to continue at his assisted living facility (even at the reduced rate that he is being charged). Haubner’s physician makes it clear that he is fit enough to continue with an assisted living arangement and does not require a nursing home. However, Medicaid in VA won’t cover assisted living. In most cases, said Cindi Jones of the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services, assisted living residents who run out of money and qualify for Medicaid move to nursing homes or move in with family.
*Money is being raised to help Haubner remain at the assisted living facility. You can contribute online at Save Larry.org.
*Reasons to contribute:
–Larry is the canary in the coal mine. Sure, at 107, he is an outlier, but I am willing to bet that he is at the forefront of a trend toward longer lives, which means the problem of outliving your savings is going to become more common. Note, anyone with parents or grandparents currently in assisted living worries about this problem on a regular basis.
–The current safety net provided by society through government programs does a very poor job of addressing the new reality of greater longevity.
–The idea that this is a problem that lends itself to a market solution is dubious.
—The current market solution in the US appears to be to bankrupt the client and then let inefficient government programs care for the now destitute elderly. If that is the case, then the market solution is immoral.
–Doing the right thing is what your parents, friends, and neighbors teach you. More than likely, this is where the solutions will come from. Practically, a shift toward creative smart solutions based on cooperation and mutual aid can start with something as simple as contributing online to help Larry Haubner.
Q: What ideas are you considering as you, your friends, or family contemplate the dillema of outliving one’s savings?
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