What to do when a parent's money runs out?

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Dude2
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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by Dude2 » Mon Aug 28, 2017 5:11 pm

FactualFran wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:45 pm
Dude2 wrote:
Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:07 am
One thing I will say is that I look at it that $1200/mo SS plus $1000 from you on top -- that is what I estimate as the bare minimum a person could survive on. (I'm talking without any other monthly bills due to debt.) That's $26,400 a year. I doubt there are folks on this forum that are able to live on that, even some of our retirees that are really optimizing.
I am a folk on this forum who has been living on slightly less than $26,400 per year. Over the past eight years my average spending has been about $25,500 per year. That spending does not include income taxes. About $28,500 per year before income taxes would be enough for the after income tax amount to be at least what my average spending per year has been (using the 2016 tax rates with all of the taxable income taxed at the ordinary income tax rate, a worst case scenario with none of the income being Social Security retirement benefits)
Thank you. I certainly mean no disrespect to folks who have found a way to live on less. Above I am suggesting that the OP's first plan of $1000 additional a month was a better amount than the $500 he later decided to go with.

This is the arbitrary amount I use for planning purposes for my mother in a similar situation. It turns out it is about 2X where the poverty line is (in the US) for a single individual, according to the ACA website.

On one hand if you have the means to help, you should (charity begins at home), but on the other hand you have to first put the oxygen mask on yourself. Right? That's my motivation for finding an arbitrary line of how much financial help to give to a relative who is not cooperating in any way and will never change. I assume that's what the OP is dealing with.
Last edited by Dude2 on Mon Aug 28, 2017 5:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

mrb09
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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by mrb09 » Mon Aug 28, 2017 5:25 pm

TN_Boy wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 4:20 pm
In home assisted living would probably run $20 to $25 per hour, likely with a 2 or 3 hour minimum per visit. That's in mid-cost cities in the general area I live. Who would pay for that? Can the OP afford to pay that, plus the repairs to the house, plus ........ the numbers can start getting big pretty fast.
+1

My mom was getting by just fine on $25k a year (her ss and pension), but when she started needing in-home care, that's when the bills really started to pour in.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:03 pm

"Dream homes" are called "dream homes" for a reason. Most people never get to live in the home of their dreams. It may sound harsh, but it is time for mom to get back to reality--whatever it takes to get her there.

Lindrobe
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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by Lindrobe » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:06 am

I have put some thought into my similar situation. My mom is currently single and 57 years old. She thinks that she is going to retire when she is 59.5 and collect social security. She has no access to health care after she retires and before she is eligible for Medicare. She owes $160,000 on a mortgage and has only about $40,000-$50,000 in retirement savings and no emergency fund. She currently lives alone in a 4,000 square foot house and spends a lot of money on Starbucks and new clothes.

If she comes to me in the retirement with money issues, I plan to point her in the direction of a co-op community in our area. It will not be nearly as luxurious as she is used to, but it will be a roof over her head.

OffTheGrid
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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by OffTheGrid » Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:39 pm

Man, this thread has me worried. I've been wondering the same thing! My MIL has absolutely no clue and is currently wasting away her very small amount of savings. The only reason she isn't working is because she didn't like her boss and she has no plans to get another job. She's just waiting to take SS! In fact, she is considering taking it early (therefore getting a lower monthly payout). It is terrible. She is (to put it very lightly) not very nice to my family, and I'm very worried she is going to get worse if we don't help her out in retirement. I dread the day she finds her bank account is empty.

Sorry I'm not adding much insight but, man... I am NOT looking forward to dealing with this. It honestly makes me quite mad that we work so hard to not burden anyone despite our low income, and yet some people have no sense of urgency or responsibility when it comes to their own finances. How do people (who are not independently wealthy) act like getting a job is an option? I mean, really, how do you tell your MIL to *get a job*? And get her to actually do that? I honestly thought that was a conversation reserved for lazy teenagers.

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VictoriaF
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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:00 pm

Lindrobe wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:06 am
I have put some thought into my similar situation. My mom is currently single and 57 years old. She thinks that she is going to retire when she is 59.5 and collect social security. She has no access to health care after she retires and before she is eligible for Medicare. She owes $160,000 on a mortgage and has only about $40,000-$50,000 in retirement savings and no emergency fund. She currently lives alone in a 4,000 square foot house and spends a lot of money on Starbucks and new clothes.
Your mother will not be eligible for Social Security until she turns 62 years old. What will be her source of income between the ages of 59.5 and 62?

Victoria
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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by mnnice » Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:05 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Aug 26, 2017 11:26 am
dodecahedron wrote:
Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:30 am
willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:03 am

Well, in the case of the OP, what's the worst thing that can happen if his mother goes head over heels into debt with credit cards and the like? She'll have to declare bankruptcy and then be forced to live within her means, or creditors will take whatever she owns when she passes away.
"What's the worst thing that can happen if ..." I don't think this is a realistic picture of the worst thing that can happen. I can think of worse things that can happen to an apparently irrational elderly smoker living in isolation by herself in a remote area in a deterioriating home she can't afford to maintain in habitable condition. The mechanisms for "forcing her" to do anything move painfully slowly. She could freeze to death/starve to death/have the house collapse on her/have the house burn down (either from animals chewing the wiring or falling asleep while smoking).
That's a bit on the extreme side for one with a $1,200 monthly income, plus a family who clearly is concerned about her.
I'm not sure I agree. I am tainted by the life experience of someone that was attempting to rehabilitate an old farm house and came home from work on afternoon to a pile of smoldering bricks. Fire response times decrease the further out you in the boondocks you get.

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flamesabers
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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by flamesabers » Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:16 pm

OffTheGrid wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:39 pm
Man, this thread has me worried. I've been wondering the same thing! My MIL has absolutely no clue and is currently wasting away her very small amount of savings. The only reason she isn't working is because she didn't like her boss and she has no plans to get another job. She's just waiting to take SS! In fact, she is considering taking it early (therefore getting a lower monthly payout). It is terrible. She is (to put it very lightly) not very nice to my family, and I'm very worried she is going to get worse if we don't help her out in retirement. I dread the day she finds her bank account is empty.

Sorry I'm not adding much insight but, man... I am NOT looking forward to dealing with this. It honestly makes me quite mad that we work so hard to not burden anyone despite our low income, and yet some people have no sense of urgency or responsibility when it comes to their own finances. How do people (who are not independently wealthy) act like getting a job is an option? I mean, really, how do you tell your MIL to *get a job*? And get her to actually do that? I honestly thought that was a conversation reserved for lazy teenagers.
I doubt there is a way to tell your MIL to get a job as it is her problem and not yours.
VictoriaF wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:00 pm
Lindrobe wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:06 am
I have put some thought into my similar situation. My mom is currently single and 57 years old. She thinks that she is going to retire when she is 59.5 and collect social security. She has no access to health care after she retires and before she is eligible for Medicare. She owes $160,000 on a mortgage and has only about $40,000-$50,000 in retirement savings and no emergency fund. She currently lives alone in a 4,000 square foot house and spends a lot of money on Starbucks and new clothes.
Your mother will not be eligible for Social Security until she turns 62 years old. What will be her source of income between the ages of 59.5 and 62?

Victoria
I was wondering the same thing. Is she confusing the age she's eligible to withdraw (without penalty) from her retirement plans with social security?

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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by Da5id » Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:33 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:00 pm
Lindrobe wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:06 am
I have put some thought into my similar situation. My mom is currently single and 57 years old. She thinks that she is going to retire when she is 59.5 and collect social security. She has no access to health care after she retires and before she is eligible for Medicare. She owes $160,000 on a mortgage and has only about $40,000-$50,000 in retirement savings and no emergency fund. She currently lives alone in a 4,000 square foot house and spends a lot of money on Starbucks and new clothes.
Your mother will not be eligible for Social Security until she turns 62 years old. What will be her source of income between the ages of 59.5 and 62?

Victoria
Maybe able to collect as a widow at 60 if not remarried?

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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by Lindrobe » Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:40 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:00 pm
Lindrobe wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:06 am
I have put some thought into my similar situation. My mom is currently single and 57 years old. She thinks that she is going to retire when she is 59.5 and collect social security. She has no access to health care after she retires and before she is eligible for Medicare. She owes $160,000 on a mortgage and has only about $40,000-$50,000 in retirement savings and no emergency fund. She currently lives alone in a 4,000 square foot house and spends a lot of money on Starbucks and new clothes.
Your mother will not be eligible for Social Security until she turns 62 years old. What will be her source of income between the ages of 59.5 and 62?

Victoria
No idea. I do not know much about social security (I am only 35), so I assumed she knew what she was talking about. I bet she is confusing social security with the age she is eligible to withdraw from 401k. Either way, her 401k is not gonna last long. She wasn't a high earner or a widow, so when she is eligible for social security, it won't be much income. Surely not enough to pay all living expenses and a decent sized mortgage payment.

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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by Da5id » Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:48 pm

Lindrobe wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:40 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:00 pm
Lindrobe wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:06 am
I have put some thought into my similar situation. My mom is currently single and 57 years old. She thinks that she is going to retire when she is 59.5 and collect social security. She has no access to health care after she retires and before she is eligible for Medicare. She owes $160,000 on a mortgage and has only about $40,000-$50,000 in retirement savings and no emergency fund. She currently lives alone in a 4,000 square foot house and spends a lot of money on Starbucks and new clothes.
Your mother will not be eligible for Social Security until she turns 62 years old. What will be her source of income between the ages of 59.5 and 62?

Victoria
No idea. She thinks she is eligible at 59.5. I do not know much about social security (I am only 35), so I assumed she knew what she was talking about.
Maybe she is thinking of iRA/401k and 59.5? If she is widowed and not remarried, she can collect as surviving spouse at 60. And may be a good idea to do so depending on her relative earnings history to her husbands. She can visit her local social security agency to ask about the scenarios.

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VictoriaF
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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:50 pm

Da5id wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:48 pm
Lindrobe wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:40 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:00 pm
Lindrobe wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:06 am
I have put some thought into my similar situation. My mom is currently single and 57 years old. She thinks that she is going to retire when she is 59.5 and collect social security. She has no access to health care after she retires and before she is eligible for Medicare. She owes $160,000 on a mortgage and has only about $40,000-$50,000 in retirement savings and no emergency fund. She currently lives alone in a 4,000 square foot house and spends a lot of money on Starbucks and new clothes.
Your mother will not be eligible for Social Security until she turns 62 years old. What will be her source of income between the ages of 59.5 and 62?

Victoria
No idea. She thinks she is eligible at 59.5. I do not know much about social security (I am only 35), so I assumed she knew what she was talking about.
Maybe she is thinking of iRA/401k and 59.5? If she is widowed and not remarried, she can collect as surviving spouse at 60. And may be a good idea to do so depending on her relative earnings history to her husbands. She can visit her local social security agency to ask about the scenarios.
If Lindrobe's mother is widowed, is she eligible for health insurance as a widow?

Victoria
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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by Da5id » Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:59 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:50 pm
If Lindrobe's mother is widowed, is she eligible for health insurance as a widow?

Victoria
Not that I'm aware of, I don't think there is any early Medicare if that is what you mean. Mind you, maybe she can get free low income ACA benefits (Medicaid) depending on her state?

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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by delamer » Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:12 pm

Lindrobe wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:40 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:00 pm
Lindrobe wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:06 am
I have put some thought into my similar situation. My mom is currently single and 57 years old. She thinks that she is going to retire when she is 59.5 and collect social security. She has no access to health care after she retires and before she is eligible for Medicare. She owes $160,000 on a mortgage and has only about $40,000-$50,000 in retirement savings and no emergency fund. She currently lives alone in a 4,000 square foot house and spends a lot of money on Starbucks and new clothes.
Your mother will not be eligible for Social Security until she turns 62 years old. What will be her source of income between the ages of 59.5 and 62?

Victoria
No idea. I do not know much about social security (I am only 35), so I assumed she knew what she was talking about. I bet she is confusing social security with the age she is eligible to withdraw from 401k. Either way, her 401k is not gonna last long. She wasn't a high earner or a widow, so when she is eligible for social security, it won't be much income. Surely not enough to pay all living expenses and a decent sized mortgage payment.
Not only your MIL, but lots of people approaching retirement are ignorant regarding their potential Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits. I am always amazed by that, because there is so much information easily available online. I am sure some people are simply burying their heads in the sand.

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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by Lindrobe » Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:45 pm

Not only your MIL, but lots of people approaching retirement are ignorant regarding their potential Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits. I am always amazed by that, because there is so much information easily available online. I am sure some people are simply burying their heads in the sand.
I agree to the statement made above.

On a couple of different occasions, I have asked my mom if she has made a budget that includes income and expenses she would have in retirement. She looks at me with a puzzled look like I am speaking another language or something :confused

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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by Pigeon » Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:46 pm

I'm sorry you are going through this. My ILs had talked about their dream of staying in the family home until they died there. Under no circumstances did they ever want to move out. I understand that, but not all dreams are realistic. FIL had moderate dementia, had a fall that broke his spine at 90. There was no way MIL could care for him at that point. Fortunately (as he was in pain and horrible distress), he died a month after. MIL doubled down in her resolve to never move out of the house.

She got dementia and it got to the point where my BIL and dh had to have an intervention. It was sad and very hard. We felt like we were crushing her dream, but it was unsafe for her to live alone. BIL, who is a bit of a bully, insisted she move in with him, which was not a good situation. After a couple of years, BIL was ready to be rid of her, and we were able to get her into an outstanding memory care facility. She was actually happier there than she had been in many years as the social aspect of it was so much better than her living in relative isolation.

The thing I'm trying to say is that almost nobody lives out their entire life in their dream situation. Your mom needs to move and this is the time to do it as her current situation without a furnace and with the house a wreck is unsustainable and dangerous. Having her live in a big farmhouse in Maine isn't realistic at this point in her life, without significant resources that she doesn't have. Maybe you can shell out more and have her stay there a bit more, but pretty soon she will be in a worse situation.

Moving is going to be sad and hard for her, but it has to be done. She'll be angry and feel betrayed. It's inevitable. It may not be what you want to hear, but I would have her move close to you or your sister. It is hard enough trying to keep an eye on an aging parent, but trying to do it from a distance would be much harder. I would start looking at what low income senior housing is available in your area and get her on the wait list ASAP. She may be like my MIL and actually enjoy being around other people once she gets there. You never know.

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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by roymeo » Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:43 pm

My wife deals with this sort of thing (and hoarders, also mentioned) professionally, and she hands out copies of this book to clients/families:

Tips for Helping Your Aging Parents: (without losing your mind)
by Kira Reginato
http://amzn.to/2xEmPiJ

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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by Mudpuppy » Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:59 pm

I would echo the suggestions to check out what elder services are available in her area. If push comes to shove, it will be good to know what resources you have available to help her. A social worker or other elder care employee could also let you know what options exist if she refuses to leave the farmhouse and does not fix the furnace. I'm sure they have dealt with similar situations before.

Also, look into a support group for caregivers in your area for you to attend. This can help you with setting boundaries and dealing with the emotional fallout of such situations.

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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by Jackson12 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:21 am

frugaltype wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:05 am

I also wonder about taking in a boarder, taking great care that he or she is a responsible, safe person.

This worked well for my mother, both in helping to meet expenses as well as having an extra pair of eyes to provide feedback as she aged. We were in her home frequently ( lived in the same city but felt better knowing someone was there. We found someone with a stellar reputation and recommended by friends.

We collected the rent and deposited it in her account, with a portion gong to automatic payments for utilities and a potion for home maintenance...with her blessing


It's too bad she retired early. Is she physically fit enough to get a part-time job, assuming there are any in the boondocks? I live in the semi-boondocks and there are older people clerking in drugstores and markets

Update: That said, I absolutely would help.
I wondered about this as well. Health status? But yes, would help if affordable.

Also, the libraries where I live have no cost interlibrary loan programs and also belong to ezone (overdrive.com) where ebooks can be downloaded in minutes. amazon has free kindle for pc software, very easy to install to read those. gutenberg has a zilllion ebooks free for kindle. With thousands of actual books, rereading is in order. I do that a lot.

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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by Wellfleet » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:33 pm

Well my family is beginning this journey with a hospitalized parent. Thank goodness for this website and the previous anecdotes so my immediate family is well prepared and I can find the tips to help my parent. Parent rebuffed previous attempts to discuss but now the issues present themselves.

It appears as my parent has a pension and so to pay their bills (not including an insane utility bill and maxed out credit card).

Now need to figure out how to make a mortgage payment at different banks for someone who doesn’t use checks....

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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by tom0153 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:40 am

While your parent is in the hospital, review the social services that can be used to plan for the discharge, and those social services that must be in place to arrange for the transition to home support or other care situation.

We overlook the value of this profession (social worker). They have seen similar situations many times, and know what to do.

When my father was very ill, my mother was over-confident in her ability to care for him. His situation declined until he was placed in the hospital. It was only at the hospital that he was able to visit with social services to state privately what he hoped to accomplish - and he decided the best was to go next to a hospice facility with which he was comfortable. Then it was able to happen.

My best to you, your parent, and your family.
Best, Tom

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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by msk » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:27 am

I have some bad news. Over-spenders never change. Whatever you give this year will not be enough next year and definitely not 30 years from now. I would suggest that you pay the $200 mortgage directly to the bank so that part does not get diverted to buy some emergency "essential". Over-spenders always have emergencies. If there are also other regular recurring expenses, pay those directly too. Take that whole lot from $900 a month and send her the balance, e.g. $700 per month. Plan on jacking up by a $100 after one year and another $100 each year as long as you can afford it. Within the next year an emergency will surface and your $1200 p.a. that you held back will help. By the way, my monthly "aid" to adult heirs (some of whom cannot handle their spending too well) amount to about 3x what I spend on our own household, so I am quite familiar with this stuff. I give away a 6 figure sum annually. One adult kid just banks his whole portion into CDs, another flies Business or First Class all the time. Each is who he is. A non BH remains so forever. Fortunately I have been a natural BH for decades and my investments have done very well to date, so I can afford it. The day that I need to cutback on the "aid" I just will, and then perhaps I will also fly First :mrgreen:

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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:13 am

msk wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:27 am
Within the next year an emergency will surface and your $1200 p.a. that you held back will help.
To help with the abbreviation: "p.a." is "per annum". The meaning is "per year" or annually, and is commonly used outside the US.

tom0153 - I had the same situation with my father. He had a problem which required hospitalization. Social services refused to let him go back home because my Mom could not take care of him on her own. (My father passed away in 2014.) The value provided by the social workers in these situations cannot be understated.
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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by RickBoglehead » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:28 am

As we age, our parents become our children. It's very hard, if you haven't gone through it you will, and you'll see.

My mother spends too much money. I showed her over and over that she was spending too much. She didn't change her spending one iota. She banked on a relative coming to her rescue. Fortunately for her that relative did, and she can keep overspending for the rest of her days.

My in-laws underspent by way too much. They lived very meagerly, but were happy. They did zero planning for when they could not live in their own home, and refused to discuss it. We did get POA documents in place years before they were needed, but only by pushing real hard.

The expectation was that my MIL would need care first. That wasn't what happened, my FIL needed care first, and she couldn't provide it, so THEY asked us to find them a place. Fully expected that to be undone as previous intervention efforts had, but then my MIL needed more care and they ended up in independent living. Some months into it had to put her into assisted living against her wishes when she was declared by her doctors unable to make medical decisions on her own behalf. So they lived separated for 3 years, visiting every month. Then he needed more care and moved where she was until she passed 6 months later.

Luckily, I was managing their money for many years, and had built it up enough to pay for 4+ years of assisted living. Had it gone on for more than another 2 years, or had one needed more than assisted living, they would have run out of money and we'd have sold their house, getting another 2 years of living expenses out of that.

Many on this site, perhaps because they're in their later years, advocate for children to not push for details, and to wait for parents to provide them voluntarily. I have the opposite view, I feel that children need to be proactive in helping their parents plan for the future care they are going to need. A huge percentage of the world aren't Bogleheads, they don't have the knowledge that many here do, and they do an absolute crappy job (or do nothing) to put in place POAs, plan for care, discuss openly things, etc.

If my mother had not been bailed out by her relative, and in fact did run out of money (which she would have), she would not have been living in my house nor would I be paying for her care. If you consciously do what you should not do, then you reap what you sow (not a religious reference). Tough noogies.

I hope that OP, and others with these issues, figure out a way that works for everyone. Just don't bring down the ship (you) in trying to save someone that doesn't want to be saved. Let the ship go down.
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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by GCD » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:35 am

IMO, parents should not ask their children for help. If they do, it must come with the understanding that the parent is now the child and the child is the parent. As a parent you control how much allowance your kids get, where they live, how late they are out at night, etc. I believe we should take care of family, but that comes with strings attached. The OP need not feel the slightest angst over yanking whatever strings he feels like in return for his financial support. Mom doesn't like it? Make better decisions.

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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by littlebird » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:42 pm

Dude2 wrote:
Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:07 am


One thing I will say is that I look at it that $1200/mo SS plus $1000 from you on top -- that is what I estimate as the bare minimum a person could survive on. (I'm talking without any other monthly bills due to debt.) That's $26,400 a year. I doubt there are folks on this forum that are able to live on that, even some of our retirees that are really optimizing.
Last year, with my spouse in assisted living ($48,000/year), I was alone in our 2150 sq.ft marital residence ( in excellent repair) in a mega “active senior community. This gave me the opportunity to see what it would cost to maintain just myself. We have a unique situation of not living in a school district, and I neither ate out nor traveled, but I do spend more than usual for my food. I didn’t forebear from buying anything that would make my life more comfortable or convenient, but, in my mid-seventies, I need and want very little more than I already have. My entire year’s spend was almost exactly $25,000.

Atilla
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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by Atilla » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:54 pm

Atilla wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:03 pm
Amazing - almost the exact same story as mine. Mother inherits a quarter million and proceeds to blow through most of it and end up with two houses, three mortgages and no job. Unemployment magically became retirement when she hit 62.

I just send the money - $1,000 every month. What pisses me off most is I can't deduct it. That $1,000 costs me $1,300 or more.

But it's your mom. What you gonna do?
2019 Update: she's down to 1 house and 1 mortgage. Still sending $1,000 a month. :moneybag
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Dude2
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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by Dude2 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:51 am

littlebird wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:42 pm
Dude2 wrote:
Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:07 am


One thing I will say is that I look at it that $1200/mo SS plus $1000 from you on top -- that is what I estimate as the bare minimum a person could survive on. (I'm talking without any other monthly bills due to debt.) That's $26,400 a year. I doubt there are folks on this forum that are able to live on that, even some of our retirees that are really optimizing.
Last year, with my spouse in assisted living ($48,000/year), I was alone in our 2150 sq.ft marital residence ( in excellent repair) in a mega “active senior community. This gave me the opportunity to see what it would cost to maintain just myself. We have a unique situation of not living in a school district, and I neither ate out nor traveled, but I do spend more than usual for my food. I didn’t forebear from buying anything that would make my life more comfortable or convenient, but, in my mid-seventies, I need and want very little more than I already have. My entire year’s spend was almost exactly $25,000.
Bravo, littlebird, and thanks for the data point.

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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by tom0153 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:16 pm

@LadyGeek, I can't say that I have always seen expert social services available, but I do feel that together with family advocacy, and understanding both the purpose and limitations of the social work profession, we should make better use of them. I wouldn't be afraid to suggest to the personal financial planning profession that they are remiss if they are not having the family reach out to the social workers when indicated.
Best, Tom

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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by WolfgangPauli » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:19 pm

HornedToad wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2013 1:20 pm
I would first start seeing if she could cut expenses. It also isn't clear how old she is and if capable of still working or not.

Does she have other alternatives (downsizing, etc)

I'd be wary of getting in a situation that you have to pay 1k/month for next 15-20 years. Especially if that number starts increasing with inflation/lifestyle creep/etc

Do what you can to help her be self sufficient instead
Thank God our mothers did not think this way when they were thinking of giving us life!
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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by SQRT » Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:57 am

My mother is 93 and in fairly good health, and lives in an assisted living facility that costs about $8,000 per month. She has about $15k in annual pensions. She has about 4 years worth of money left. I manage all her finances and pretty well everything else relating to her life. She is grateful for my help and generally follows my “suggestions”. When (if) she runs out of money, I will pay. Not exactly “chump change” but affordable to us.

As someone said upthread, what are you gonna do, she’s your mother?

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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by dbr » Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:19 am

SQRT wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:57 am
My mother is 93 and in fairly good health, and lives in an assisted living facility that costs about $8,000 per month. She has about $15k in annual pensions. She has about 4 years worth of money left. I manage all her finances and pretty well everything else relating to her life. She is grateful for my help and generally follows my “suggestions”. When (if) she runs out of money, I will pay. Not exactly “chump change” but affordable to us.

As someone said upthread, what are you gonna do, she’s your mother?
People whose money runs out can often go on public assistance in the same facility; not so in others. You might want to investigate how this scenario could play out within your area and the options available. This is especially true if by that time the need for care is greater than simply assisted living. A 15K annual income would usually be within the parameters needed to qualify once assets are spent down.

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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by SQRT » Thu Jan 17, 2019 11:21 am

dbr wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:19 am
SQRT wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:57 am
My mother is 93 and in fairly good health, and lives in an assisted living facility that costs about $8,000 per month. She has about $15k in annual pensions. She has about 4 years worth of money left. I manage all her finances and pretty well everything else relating to her life. She is grateful for my help and generally follows my “suggestions”. When (if) she runs out of money, I will pay. Not exactly “chump change” but affordable to us.

As someone said upthread, what are you gonna do, she’s your mother?
People whose money runs out can often go on public assistance in the same facility; not so in others. You might want to investigate how this scenario could play out within your area and the options available. This is especially true if by that time the need for care is greater than simply assisted living. A 15K annual income would usually be within the parameters needed to qualify once assets are spent down.
She is on a waiting list for a less expensive govt assisted facility that would give her more care. But this would probably not be a very nice place. Not sure what we would do if her name comes up in the near future. I would be unlikely to seek govt assistance if it would cause her quality of life to deteriorate significantly. Hopefully by that time she wouldn’t notice. On the other hand 4 years on top of 93 is 97. She could go at any time really.

Having enough money to last till 97 in a fairly expensive “home” for 10 years is pretty impressive for my parents who were never big earners.

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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by willthrill81 » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:25 pm

GCD wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:35 am
IMO, parents should not ask their children for help. If they do, it must come with the understanding that the parent is now the child and the child is the parent. As a parent you control how much allowance your kids get, where they live, how late they are out at night, etc. I believe we should take care of family, but that comes with strings attached. The OP need not feel the slightest angst over yanking whatever strings he feels like in return for his financial support. Mom doesn't like it? Make better decisions.
While some might call it being gruff, I am inclined to agree. If you just give money to anyone who has a spending problem without imposing some type of constraints, you're just enabling poor behavior and exacerbating the issue.
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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by dcabler » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:38 pm

Man, it's really amazing reading this thread. I had a similar issue for a few years, but it ended up working out well for all involved.

Parents lived in the same town where I was raised - in a LCOL area. But the house they were living in was rented and, really, a piece of cr*p. So, I decided to buy a house for them. They pushed back at first, but accepted it. Again, it's a LCOL area and I bought them a small, relatively inexpensive 11 year old house in a quiet one-street-cul-du-sac neighborhood that was a mix of young families and retirees - including my sister's in-laws. I made a large enough down payment that the mortgage wasn't a strain for us at all. Dad was on SS and Mom had a small school pension. Even then I helped out by paying for her medicare premiums for a few years - again pretty cheap for us. After a couple of years, she noted that she didn't need the help anymore which was fine.

All went pretty well. After about 12 or so years in the house, Dad ultimately passed away from heart failure at almost 92. Pretty instantly, too, as my Mom was there when it happened. She had been diagnosed with lung cancer about a year before that. Thanks to some newer medication, she had a good quality of life and also passed extremely quickly a couple of years after my Dad.

After my Mom passed, I had some minor work done on the house and it sold within a few days. Didn't make much on it, but that wasn't the point. And, even though I live in another state, I'm so grateful for my siblings back home who were always looking in on them and also helping them out in any way they could. And also feel fortunate that, in both cases, my wife, daughter and I had just visited them a few days before they passed.

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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by carolynb2 » Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:24 pm

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Last edited by carolynb2 on Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:33 pm

Too many posts to read them all. I can tell you, my Grandmother is 92 and cannot survive on her income. She "owes" my Mother around $18k. My Mother will get 1/2 the house when her Mother passes. A cousin will get the other 1/2. My mother complains, but at least she will come out in the black at the end of this (well, seemingly). It can be a tough situation. If someone is old and a close relative and maybe was reckless or unwise with money, what are you going to do ----cut them off? Assuming you can afford it, I think you need to 1) get their expenses as low as possible and 2) help them (preferably with other family members) make up the difference. If my Grandma moved in with my Mother, she could pay all her expenses. My Mother doesn't want that :shock: . BTW...my Grandma, other than not driving, is self sufficient.

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