Prepping as We Get Older

Prepping is not a one size fits all lifestyle and takes on different priorities depending on many factors including age. This post was suggested by a reader and hits really close to home for me. At the ripe old age of 57 I’m not necessarily old, but certainly feel that way at times considering my scenic helicopter ride in cardiac arrest several years ago. That combined with retiring about a year ago, we have changed some of our preps as we felt appropriate. Some of these might be appropriate at any age and some might not fit your needs currently. That being said, hopefully lots of ideas will be shared in the comments section.

So first of all; food, water, shelter, and protection remain as the main pillars of prepping so be sure you have what feels sufficient to you. Note: that old .38 Special you’ve kept for years might not be the best fit as our hands and joints age. As we get older, having a good financial plan is crucial. Is your home paid off, how about your cars, do you have credit card debt or even student loans? Having financial peace of mind can make all the difference in surviving the challenges we face these days. Do you have an emergency fund? This can be really important for handling an unexpected emergency like a medical bill. If you still have debt, that should be your first priority.

Once you get past the basics, financial planning is huge. Build at least a small emergency fund; 3-6 months of expenses is best, but $1000 is a good start. You should also have some cash out of the bank and where you can access easily it, small bills as well as some loose change. We also have been buying silver, but that’s a discussion for another day. Do you have a will; 68% of Americans do not have a will and this places a larger than necessary strain on your surviving family. While on that subject, it is wise to write out specific instructions for the executor, so they understand exactly what you expect of them. We have purchased our grave sites and are currently doing our funeral planning, not a fun topic but again, good for your family. While on that subject, if you are a believer when was the last time you spent any study time?

Insurance is extremely important as we get older. Unfortunately, I have seen too many get burned, me included, after reducing and or eliminating their insurance. Years ago, I decided our 14-year-old car really wasn’t worth the cost of full coverage, so I dropped it to just liability. I hit a deer with it 2 days later. How many times do you see people lose everything to a house fire, because then had too little insurance or none at all. When we paid off our home we set up our own escrow account that we deposit a specific amount into every month to cover taxes and homeowners’ insurance when they come due. No stress, no fuss. Which brings me to health insurance, a subject most people hate because of the hassle. Do you have enough to cover if you or your significant other gets seriously ill or injured? How about long-term care: a decent ‘senior living’ facility will set you back about $5000 a month each. Have you considered life insurance or funeral insurance? Do you have extras of your prescription meds? Depending on your doctor they might alter your script so you can acquire some extras. How about extra over the counter meds? We have 8 plastic toolboxes that are stocked with all kinds of medical, dental, pain, allergy, and first aid supplies.

Gardening is always a great way to stretch your food budget as well as adding more fresh healthy food to your diet. If you don’t have the room or time or simply can’t physically grow a garden you might try hydroponics or container gardening. We have a 4000 sq ft fenced garden, but we also have tomatoes, peppers, blueberries and strawberries in 5-gallon buckets. Easier to manage while still getting some garden-fresh food. Eating healthy along with moderate exercise is obviously important as we get older, and I think it’s also a good idea to have a hobby or 2 to keep you healthy and mentally sharp. Note: drinking and watching TV or playing video games and eating fast food from door dash are not healthy hobbies!

Warning! Never, ever, ever get a reverse mortgage. OK, well if you hate your family its ok, but these things are a real scam.

Have and review you bank and credit card statements regularly. Have hard copies of all important documents and a list of telephone numbers in case your cell phone dies for some reason. We still have a land line, (at a cost of $3 a month) which will work when your cell might not and will work during a power outage as long as the lines are not damaged. If your cell phone died, would you know anyone’s number?

Finally, as this post is already waaay too long, what do you do that your partner doesn’t really know how to? We just experienced this as we recently lost a family member and their spouse didn’t even know where their bank accounts were, what bills they owed or how to pay. In our home I handle all the money and investments and pay all the bills. Do you have beneficiaries on you bank and investment accounts and are they up to date? To ensure that dearest wife would be ok in my absence, every few months she sits with me when I pay the bills and go through all the accounts and balances. What else would you need to share with your significant other or maybe your kids or trusted friend. Finally, if you live alone and something happened to you, how long before someone finds you. How long would you lay on the floor in need of medical care? Might be time to figure out a plan.

Prepare now. I look forward to your suggestions.


  1. Standing ovation! Outstanding article! You did yourself proud with this one! There are so many solid tips and ‘uncomfortable’ situations addressed that this could be a guide book entitled, As You Age – or something (lol). You did an outstanding job and I thank you so much for taking the time to address this need.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It can’t do otherwise, Prep! Someone can sit with the article and make notes and lists and plans based on the information you’ve provided. That’s a huge help right there. Ya done good, bunky! (wink)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My mother wanted so badly to take out a reverse mortgage and was mad at us when we won’t let her. Too many TV commercials.
    She really didn’t need it and if she had her last days won’t have been as comfortable for her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I know someone who has inherited a house that has a reverse mortgage that is more than the house is worth, they will have to pay off some of the fees before they can even sell it.


  3. Can check most off. Except gardening. I don’t have the space for a large garden, have a small plot I grow tomatoes and peppers in. Am planning on building a couple of raised garden boxes I think I can make work. But I have a lot of shade and that’s an issue!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. All very good advice..especially about the reverse mortgage; bad idea. The banking industry will stop at nothing to own the rest of us. You can bet your last dollar that the banks will survive any economic collapse, or government failure, what have you. They have secret server farms with incredible redundancy to store the data on their customers. They will come for your house if the payments are not met; even after a catastrophe.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Good morning! I belong to a conservative site in the UK, The Conservative Woman. In one of the articles this morning, English folks were talking about not being able to get ‘salad’ fixings in the winter now. I gave your blog link as well as sharing the information you related in regard to how older folks can plant and harvest produce in buckets and pots in their homes. Hoping you’ll get some action from England.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi! Checked this morning – there are 7 ‘upticks’ (as the English call them – we call them ‘likes’) on your information about pot produce. One commenter wrote:
        L Jon 21 hours ago

        It IS a great idea. I grew a couple of large pots of potatoes last year (from about six potatoes that had sprouted while in the fridge!) and got a very sizeable crop of delicious new potatoes! Spring onions were a success too, lasted for ages, and there was a positive embarrassment of tomatoes! This year I’m going to branch out……
        He lives in London.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. My husband is 81 and I am 76. We had a big garden while we both worked, so learned that skill before it was needed. When we retired we bought a farm. Over the past two years, we had to downsize and now have five acres. It includes part ownership of a small lake. We ordered the metal raised beds and put up twelve. I do canned meals in a jar once a week, using a canner that just holds four quart jars. With the chickens and gardens, one batch in a day is enough.
    I suggest older people look at making tinctures. They keep very well and don’t require heavy lifting. You may be surprised at what you can tincture, just using your garden herbs. I use a greenhouse much of the year, to keep fresh food on the table. The drawback is heating it. Gardening is an expensive hobby, even if you do it in buckets. Yes, you can rebuild your soil, but it takes time. We have a chicken plucker, but have not used it in two years. If you have the energy and desire, you can U-tube doing one bird at a time, like the old days.
    If you store things in mylar and buckets, buy the smaller bags, and use five pounds of flour at a time, which makes it easier to handle. If you raise chickens, research manageable birds on line. Don’t get the flighty birds, you won’t catch them half the time. If one gets out, good luck getting it back in.
    We have lots of access and pains. I have a hip replacement and my knee could use some work. The advice on handguns is good. Be sure to fire one of the same model before purchasing. I have used guns for many years and was surprised by what I could and could not handle, when I went to add one more. Bad aim? think shotgun.
    You can sit and read sites all day, but it you don’t pick a skill and practice it, you might as well just read novels.
    Our generation has the advantage of knowledge and we actually paid attention to the history of other countries that have failed. Many of us had grandparents who went through the depression. Old age is hard, but we made it here. Now, we have to take advantage of the disadvantage. Best of luck to you all!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely outstanding comment! What a joy to read. Some excellent advice here, even for the young and hale. Start with something you can handle – you can always go bigger as your knowledge and experience grows.

      Very much enjoyed your sharing of how you go about getting things done. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

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