Yesterday I attended a memorial service for my friend's mother, who had been living in specialized facility Alzheimer's and dementia patients for the past five years. Unless you've had a family member in this situation, you might not realize the extreme cost of long term debilitating diseases like this one. Of course, the emotional price is staggering, but when you add the monetary cost into the equation, it's an astronomical sum. At her memorial service, it was mentioned that she had been interested in investments since the 1960's, and had taken the initiative to learn about investing and stock trading. It's probably fortuitous that she did, because the cost of her care was about $5000 per month for the last five years. That's a hefty chunk of change for the average middle classe octogenarian with nothing more than a passbook savings account.
I recall my dad belonging to a stock club in those days, and becoming a very savvy investor. We all reaped the benefits of his knowledge back in the days when the market was booming and more reliable. Nowadays, of course, it's all about online trading. I don't pretend to know anything about investments, and I'm lucky to have a very skilled and reliable broker to help me with my 401K's, my IRA accounts, and my emerging market mutual funds.
But I had to admire the spunk of this woman who took an interest in money matters back in they day when most women weren't encouraged to do anything more challenging with their brains than tally up the bridge scores.