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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Bowman

My adult children have taken my car keys!

"I've lost my independence." This is a devastating delimia for anyone who has been active all of their lives. Now you say, I cannot just go to the grocery store for what I want or I have to wait for my adult children to make my doctor's appointment. According to a recent study by AAA, you may discover that this is not such a bad thing.

Maintaining a vehicle is expensive

Between car notes, insurance, gas, maintenance, tags and registration, owning a car can be quite expensive.

For vehicles driven 15,000 miles a year, average ownership costs added up to about $706 a month or $8,469 a year in 2017, according to AAA. However, the study didn’t include the monthly car payment, only the cost of interest on that loan.

Other ways to spend that money

1. Find out if younger friends who are retired can take you places. You can use your money to offer gas money or lunch out. Socializing is a problem for those elderly who are still in their home. “A Review of Social Isolation” notes that the prevalence of isolation among “community dwelling older adults” or seniors who live at home rather than senior living communities, may be as high as 43%. Spending time with friends in the car for an afternoon out can keep the elderly active and engaged.

2. Uber or Lyft are great options. I calculated how much it would cost to make a run to the grocery store (1.8 miles). With average traffic, the ride would run $7.28 a single way. That would be $14.56 round trip. What!?! you say! I would never spend that much to go to the grocery. Well, let's consider other options.

3. A taxi would run $5.36 or $10.72 round trip.

4. Another service called GoGoGrandparent has a $5.00 minimum fee to my grocery store. They will even text a child or grandchild when you request a ride and when you are delivered.

5. Senior transport groups are amazing. Some may require a monthly voucher while others are free. These services must know in advance of your plans. No spontaneous trips. Check out TOPS and GATE in the North Atlanta area.

In conclusion, let's say that I choose a taxi at $10.42 for my trips to the grocery store. At this price after calculating my monthly car cost which turned out to be $745 (I have no car note). I could make approximately 71 trips. This number would certainly cover my trips to doctors' offices, other errands, and visiting friends.

It is a great time to be an on-the-go senior! Maybe I should think about selling my car. Hmmm!

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