Well, changes keep happening--emotionally, financially, and within my family.
Somewhere in the middle of it, I became the parent of a bouncing nine-year-old boy! He is legally my grandson, but with a mother in prison for the next 14 years and an unknown father, he is in desperate need of a mother. A placement with half-siblings did not work out, through no fault of his. So enter, Grace!
In keeping with the fact that this is a financial blog, I'm going to pretty much stick with reporting the financial repercussions of adding a fourth grader to one's family.
First is the frantic shopping to set up a boy's bedroom. I reared five daughters. What do I know about boys? Apparently young male decor consists of posters (cars, The Avengers, and monster trucks). Two hundred dollars and several posters, bedspreads, curtains and rugs later, he has a 'boy's room.'
Then there is the eight-hour round trip to go get him, meet with caseworkers, teachers and foster parents, stay overnight at a motel with an indoor pool (It's November in the Pacific NW--of course it is raining!) so he can share a fun activity with his half-siblings, and dinner for fourteen people (I was the only one with money, so guess who paid.)
But I did have some financial luck. Orbitz had sent me 10% off coupon if I booked through them. I not only did that, but I signed on to Orbitz using the My Points website so I picked up points there. Then my age worked in my favor because the motel had a senior rate. And gas prices are coming down. It's sad to think that $3.29 a gallon looks cheap to me, but it does. This will be a foster care placement in the beginning, so I will get foster care payments. This is a darn good thing because virtually all of it will go to after-school/summer daycare.
Not only are the times a-changing, but so is my budget.
I'm also having to rethink my retirement plans.
I will be 71 when he turns 18. My goal was to retire at age 69. I'm sticking with that for the moment, but it will not be a surprise if changes are in store for the plan.