The grinding began within a week of being downsized. If it were me, being in my 30s, it would have been easier to find more work on the side. My husband would have contributed, and some support is available for those with young children. However, this happened to my father, a proud, hardworking man in his late 60s. Still strong and fit for his age, he’d been supporting my mother since she retired due to ill health, for a decade.
Then the downsizing came out of the blue. He still had debts and a mortgage to pay off, mostly from my mother’s aforementioned ill health. My father internalized the stress, leading to chest pains, headaches, lethargy, and anxiety. He drank more, and then my mother noticed his teeth grinding in the middle of the night. It was only then that he let on about what was going on.
Financial stress can hit us at any age, but like I said above, when we are younger there are more options out there, and higher chances of getting a new job or an extra job. The same mechanisms are not there for older adults nearing retirement. We can argue about the merits of seniors in companies, but today I want to share with you a piece I’ve written on how to de-stress, feel better, and more easily approach the underlying financial issues causing it. This ranges from diet to exercise, and can be found in my full article here on coping with financial stress. Thanks to some of this and having a strong family around him, we’ve helped our parents move to a smaller place and pay off their mortgage. My father now has a new job, and is not grinding his teeth anymore.