Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

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berg
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Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by berg » Tue Oct 28, 2014 7:16 pm

My father has always been terrible with money. Unfortunately, at age 75 he is on a path to run out of savings and will only have some SS and alimony to live off of. He has made many poor decisions and his choices have inspired the opposite behavior in me.

For anybody with experience with this with a parent, any tips or things I might not have thought of?

He still will have enough income to cover his rent, food, and health care. But what I fear is one catastrophic event. Are there any resources out there for this? My sister and I might help here and there, but don't really plan to enable him since he has made and continues to make so many poor choices.

dhodson
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Re: Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by dhodson » Tue Oct 28, 2014 7:23 pm

Well at age 75, it isn't likely that he will become better with his money in this lifetime.

There is no magic bullet for this. I wouldn't get too involved in his finances.

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GerryL
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Re: Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by GerryL » Tue Oct 28, 2014 7:26 pm

Is your dad a veteran? If yes, check out your country veteran services office. My mom (both a vet and the wife of a vet) was able to get assistance. And be sure to check with the county aging services office. (In OR vet and aging services are in the same office.)

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Re: Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by freebeer » Tue Oct 28, 2014 7:38 pm

My mother ran through her last savings in her early 70s. Some bad choices and money mismanagement en route, plus some bad luck, mainly a contract sale of her long-time business that ended up a legal and financial debacle. She has no assets and small SS payments as her only income. So I provide some financial help. Next week she's turning 84: living independently, happy, healthy, a delight to her many friends, and a beloved volunteer all over town. And sure a catastrophic event could change everything tomorrow - and some tomorrow it probably will - but meanwhile she's had a great last 15 years, broke and all, which is more than a lot of 70-year-olds get (even if rich). Money isn't everything.

Professor Emeritus
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Re: Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by Professor Emeritus » Tue Oct 28, 2014 8:15 pm

It can be even worse. I worked very hard to make money for my parents. There was enough, with care, to take care of my mother. Unfortunately my sibling, who had the power of attorney, was hopeless when it came to budgeting. I'm not suggesting the sib to took money, it was simply not spent wisely wisely given my mother's relatively long life expectancy. The waste was simply incredible. Fortunately there were pensions and social security more than sufficient to pay for my mother to live with said sibling for the last two years of her life.

So who knows.

frogmaster
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Re: Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by frogmaster » Wed Oct 29, 2014 3:58 am

berg wrote:My father has always been terrible with money. Unfortunately, at age 75 he is on a path to run out of savings and will only have some SS and alimony to live off of. He has made many poor decisions and his choices have inspired the opposite behavior in me.

For anybody with experience with this with a parent, any tips or things I might not have thought of?

He still will have enough income to cover his rent, food, and health care. But what I fear is one catastrophic event. Are there any resources out there for this? My sister and I might help here and there, but don't really plan to enable him since he has made and continues to make so many poor choices.
Dude, Sounds like my life and like you I LEARNED to be the opposite of him :beer . I am in same boat. I looked Dad in the eye and said time to tighten the belts, you can not party from 18 to grave. I WILL NEVER burden my children in my old age for 1 Penny!

Maybe provide a Catastrophic example?

Bless
Mr. Frog | :beer

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ResearchMed
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Re: Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by ResearchMed » Wed Oct 29, 2014 7:54 am

berg wrote:My father has always been terrible with money. Unfortunately, at age 75 he is on a path to run out of savings and will only have some SS and alimony to live off of. He has made many poor decisions and his choices have inspired the opposite behavior in me.

For anybody with experience with this with a parent, any tips or things I might not have thought of?

He still will have enough income to cover his rent, food, and health care. But what I fear is one catastrophic event. Are there any resources out there for this? My sister and I might help here and there, but don't really plan to enable him since he has made and continues to make so many poor choices.
What type of catastrophic expense worries you?
Is he gambling, and the sharks will circle or worse?
That's a problem you can't help too much with, but I'll assume that's not your main worry!

Illness/injury?
Aren't there state programs, from health care to elder/ill care (in hospital or home), even if it isn't the quality you - or *he* - would 'prefer'?
In such cases, there's probably not anything to stop you from providing some extras, such as bringing in nicer food, having someone else to help him?

Something else of concern?

RM
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Set40
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Re: Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by Set40 » Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:24 am

Someone in this situation must understand the complex interplay between enabling, guilt, and codependence. You can't stop enabling if you are crippled with guilt or are codependent. A respectful, loving, and open conversation to set expectations might be in order as well.

mhalley
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Re: Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by mhalley » Wed Oct 29, 2014 6:23 pm

The biggest catastrophic event would probably be medical, ie stroke or some other illness requiring him to go to the nursing home. Since he doesn't have any money, then this would be picked up by medicaid. If he has enough money for his daily needs, I don't think there is much to do except to try to be a little more frugal with day expenses.
Mike

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Re: Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by Beth* » Wed Oct 29, 2014 6:50 pm

mhalley wrote:The biggest catastrophic event would probably be medical, ie stroke or some other illness requiring him to go to the nursing home. Since he doesn't have any money, then this would be picked up by medicaid. If he has enough money for his daily needs, I don't think there is much to do except to try to be a little more frugal with day expenses.
Mike
This is not necessarily true. My mother-in-law had a stroke and could no longer live on her own without all day assistance/supervision because she developed issues with short-term memory, impulse control, and incontinence, and she needed help dressing, making her meals, etc. She was not incapacitated enough to qualify for a nursing home, which Medicaid would have helped pay for. In the state where she lived Medicaid did not offer any assistance for people who needed assisted living but not a nursing home (I think this varies by state). We had to supplement what she could pay to keep her in assisted living. The alternative was having her move in with us (which would have required hiring a caretaker in our home because we both work full-time and would have driven us crazy) or just abandoning her.

I was resentful that we had to contribute financially to her care because she had wasted a lot of money in her life, including the proceeds of the life insurance policy her husband left her, but that's life. We put her in an assisted living that had a religious affiliation and they agreed that if we paid the full charge for three years they would consider her a charity case after that and just take her pension and social security income. She died right before the three years were up.

Even many nursing homes that accept Medicaid often want you to be able to pay the full cost for at least a year before they switch you to Medicaid, because they don't get enough money from Medicaid to be able to operate at a reasonable staffing level.

You asked for tips. My tip is to save some money for your father's care, but whatever you do don't tell him about it or he'll start asking for it. You don't owe him luxuries. However, he is your father so you will probably want to make sure that he is not left homeless and incapacitated and is in a place where you don't fear for his safety. We never told my mother-in-law we were contributing toward her care because we didn't want her to ask us for more money and we thought that if she thought we had extra money she would ask for it. We were willing to pay for the basics, but not for anything that went beyond that.

I intend to make sure that my children are never put in this situation.

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Re: Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by Xpe » Wed Oct 29, 2014 7:40 pm

This sounds like me in 10-15 years.

Father left quite a bit for my mother, but she has zero concept of budgeting or managing her finances. She's burning like 8-9% per year and doesn't seem to have any idea that the money can run out. She has no idea what she spends monthly, or what her annual recurring expenses amount to (taxes and insurance).

Ill be happy as a clam if she spends her last dollar the day she dies, but I expect she outlives her money by 10-20 years - which is totally unnecessary with just some minor planning.

Have no idea how to teach her how to manage her money, she is easily overwhelmed and just shuts down when she decides she doesn't understand something.

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Re: Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by Beth* » Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:21 pm

Xpe wrote:This sounds like me in 10-15 years.

Father left quite a bit for my mother, but she has zero concept of budgeting or managing her finances. She's burning like 8-9% per year and doesn't seem to have any idea that the money can run out. She has no idea what she spends monthly, or what her annual recurring expenses amount to (taxes and insurance).

Ill be happy as a clam if she spends her last dollar the day she dies, but I expect she outlives her money by 10-20 years - which is totally unnecessary with just some minor planning.

Have no idea how to teach her how to manage her money, she is easily overwhelmed and just shuts down when she decides she doesn't understand something.
We could see it coming with my mother-in-law too, but there was nothing we could do about it. We tried but her standard reply was that she would just die when she ran out of money. That's not what happened. As a parent myself I don't understand how someone can be this inconsiderate of their children. It's one thing if the elderly person never had any money in the first place. I understand that. However, willfully spending all your money so that you end up broke and dependent upon your adult children is incomprehensible to me. Those of us who have parents or in-laws who do that type of thing need to have some extra savings because chances are that we will eventually be called upon for help.

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Re: Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by Professor Emeritus » Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:37 pm

Beth* wrote:
mhalley wrote:The biggest catastrophic event would probably be medical, ie stroke or some other illness requiring him to go to the nursing home. Since he doesn't have any money, then this would be picked up by medicaid. If he has enough money for his daily needs, I don't think there is much to do except to try to be a little more frugal with day expenses.
Mike
This is not necessarily true. My mother-in-law had a stroke and could no longer live on her own without all day assistance/supervision because she developed issues with short-term memory, impulse control, and incontinence, and she needed help dressing, making her meals, etc. She was not incapacitated enough to qualify for a nursing home, which Medicaid would have helped pay for..
Something is a little odd. the are exactly the ADLs that qualify a person medically for care. Did you have expert help in the process?

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Re: Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by Professor Emeritus » Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:38 pm

Xpe wrote:This sounds like me in 10-15 years.

Father left quite a bit for my mother, but she has zero concept of budgeting or managing her finances. She's burning like 8-9% per year and doesn't seem to have any idea that the money can run out. She has no idea what she spends monthly, or what her annual recurring expenses amount to (taxes and insurance).

Ill be happy as a clam if she spends her last dollar the day she dies, but I expect she outlives her money by 10-20 years - which is totally unnecessary with just some minor planning.

Have no idea how to teach her how to manage her money, she is easily overwhelmed and just shuts down when she decides she doesn't understand something.
This is what annuities are for. imperfect but the best solution

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Re: Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by sharukh » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:13 am

Professor Emeritus wrote:
Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:38 pm
Xpe wrote:This sounds like me in 10-15 years.

Father left quite a bit for my mother, but she has zero concept of budgeting or managing her finances. She's burning like 8-9% per year and doesn't seem to have any idea that the money can run out. She has no idea what she spends monthly, or what her annual recurring expenses amount to (taxes and insurance).

Ill be happy as a clam if she spends her last dollar the day she dies, but I expect she outlives her money by 10-20 years - which is totally unnecessary with just some minor planning.

Have no idea how to teach her how to manage her money, she is easily overwhelmed and just shuts down when she decides she doesn't understand something.
This is what annuities are for. imperfect but the best solution
+ 1000

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Re: Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:32 am

It's unfortunate how often this occurs. It would occur even more except that many have enough funds despite themselves. I have a relative that never understood this concept, and counted on being bailed out by a relative - and they were. They continue to spend more each year, but now it appears near impossible that they will run out in their lifetime.

The key here is to make sure they understand that you will not bail them out. Whether you keep reserves to ensure they have food and shelter or not, don't tell them. As mentioned, there are veterans' benefits that can be obtained. My understanding is that when a vet (or widowed spouse of a vet) has $50,000, or a couple has $80,000, they can apply for a VA pension, Aid and Attendance, and Housebound benefits.
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Re: Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by dcabler » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:42 am

My parents were renting a house that I probably spent the last 10 years or so at home in till I left for college. It was starting to fall apart, the family friends who owned it had both died, and their kids didn't seem interested in upkeep. My wife suggested, and I agreed, so we bought a house for them. Very LCOL area so we were able to get a nice place, pretty cheaply in a neighborhood that included both young families and retirees. My sister's in-laws lived just a few doors down. Far nicer than any place they had ever lived before. Dad was at first reluctant about the idea, but eventually came around. They lived there for about 11 years until they each passed away. We sold the place and basically got back what we put into it. It served its purpose and was never intended as a money making enterprise for us.

Dad only had SS and Mom had some savings and a pension from working in the school system, but they still needed some help. So we reimbursed them for medicare premiums for a few years till Mom told us that they could take care of it themselves. While Dad was still driving, I gave him a small pickup truck that I was going to get rid of anyway. My sister's husband works for a company that sells cars, RV's etc, so always provided my Mom with a car. Sister also paid for gas for the car. They took care of their own medical bills, groceries, utilities, insurance, and incidentals.

There were originally 11 of us siblings. My sister and I were both fortunate that we were able to help our parents out financially and have always been glad that we did. My other siblings as well as some of my parents grandkids helped out with other things around the house. Ultimately we all chipped in one way or another. When they passed, all of the kids, grandkids, great-grandkids were invited to the house to get whatever they wanted with my sister acting as referee. No contentiousness occurred, fortunately. When it was all over, the remainder was given to charity.

I understand that these things don't always work out so smoothly, but I'm so grateful it did for our family.

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Re: Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by student » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:56 am

dcabler wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:42 am
My parents were renting a house that I probably spent the last 10 years or so at home in till I left for college. It was starting to fall apart, the family friends who owned it had both died, and their kids didn't seem interested in upkeep. My wife suggested, and I agreed, so we bought a house for them. Very LCOL area so we were able to get a nice place, pretty cheaply in a neighborhood that included both young families and retirees. My sister's in-laws lived just a few doors down. Far nicer than any place they had ever lived before. Dad was at first reluctant about the idea, but eventually came around. They lived there for about 11 years until they each passed away. We sold the place and basically got back what we put into it. It served its purpose and was never intended as a money making enterprise for us.

Dad only had SS and Mom had some savings and a pension from working in the school system, but they still needed some help. So we reimbursed them for medicare premiums for a few years till Mom told us that they could take care of it themselves. While Dad was still driving, I gave him a small pickup truck that I was going to get rid of anyway. My sister's husband works for a company that sells cars, RV's etc, so always provided my Mom with a car. Sister also paid for gas for the car. They took care of their own medical bills, groceries, utilities, insurance, and incidentals.

There were originally 11 of us siblings. My sister and I were both fortunate that we were able to help our parents out financially and have always been glad that we did. My other siblings as well as some of my parents grandkids helped out with other things around the house. Ultimately we all chipped in one way or another. When they passed, all of the kids, grandkids, great-grandkids were invited to the house to get whatever they wanted with my sister acting as referee. No contentiousness occurred, fortunately. When it was all over, the remainder was given to charity.

I understand that these things don't always work out so smoothly, but I'm so grateful it did for our family.
Thank you for sharing this wonderful story.

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Re: Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by jharkin » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:36 am

Berg,

It could be worse. My parents (divorced) have nothing but SS, Due to spotty work histories and taking it early neither of them can even cover all basic expenses on SS and are still working full time in their mid-70s.

They also both are developing significant health issues, so sooner rather than later the day will come they just cant work any more and my siblings and I will face some tough choices. One parent is aware of the situation and accepts that they created the situation... the other is oblivious and still lives life one day at a time. Further, I strongly suspect I am only one among my siblings who has any substantial savings.

And did I mention all my siblings and parents take more vacations than my wife and I do and tend to buy cars more often? :oops:

Nothing much I can do but grin and bear it. My wife has decided that "we will not be the entire families bail out fund" but I'm not so sure that that hard line position will hold when the alternative is some relative out on the street.

Good luck to you. To all of us.

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Re: Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by Leemiller » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:48 am

I am Berg! ^^^^

Same issues with divorced fiscally irresponsibe parents both working in their 70s. One has enough saved to buy a small condo but continues to rent instead. The other parent I’m not speaking to but would feel obligated to help. I’ve mostly stopped worrying. Actually, I used to worry more when they were young, what a waste of my mental energy we’ve made it this far. At some point I’ll need to chip in due to bad life choices but the more wealth my DH and I have the less concerned I am. And it is entirely possible it never comes to that.

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Re: Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by Leemiller » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:51 am

Beth* wrote:
Wed Oct 29, 2014 6:50 pm

I was resentful that we had to contribute financially to her care because she had wasted a lot of money in her life, including the proceeds of the life insurance policy her husband left her, but that's life. We put her in an assisted living that had a religious affiliation and they agreed that if we paid the full charge for three years they would consider her a charity case after that and just take her pension and social security income. She died right before the three years were up.

Even many nursing homes that accept Medicaid often want you to be able to pay the full cost for at least a year before they switch you to Medicaid, because they don't get enough money from Medicaid to be able to operate at a reasonable staffing level.

You asked for tips. My tip is to save some money for your father's care, but whatever you do don't tell him about it or he'll start asking for it. You don't owe him luxuries. However, he is your father so you will probably want to make sure that he is not left homeless and incapacitated and is in a place where you don't fear for his safety. We never told my mother-in-law we were contributing toward her care because we didn't want her to ask us for more money and we thought that if she thought we had extra money she would ask for it. We were willing to pay for the basics, but not for anything that went beyond that.

I intend to make sure that my children are never put in this situation.
Wow this is really helpful. I didn’t know agreeing to pay for a couple of years was an option. I guess they are hedging their bets on average nursing home stays.

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Re: Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by jharkin » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:57 am

sharukh wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:13 am
Professor Emeritus wrote:
Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:38 pm
Xpe wrote:This sounds like me in 10-15 years.

Father left quite a bit for my mother, but she has zero concept of budgeting or managing her finances. She's burning like 8-9% per year and doesn't seem to have any idea that the money can run out. She has no idea what she spends monthly, or what her annual recurring expenses amount to (taxes and insurance).

Ill be happy as a clam if she spends her last dollar the day she dies, but I expect she outlives her money by 10-20 years - which is totally unnecessary with just some minor planning.

Have no idea how to teach her how to manage her money, she is easily overwhelmed and just shuts down when she decides she doesn't understand something.
This is what annuities are for. imperfect but the best solution
+ 1000
Easy to say but the children cannot force the elderly parent to buy an SPIA. I mentioned my parents situation above - well my wife's parents are in this situation and they wont listen either.
Last edited by jharkin on Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:11 am

freebeer wrote:
Tue Oct 28, 2014 7:38 pm
My mother ran through her last savings in her early 70s. Some bad choices and money mismanagement en route, plus some bad luck, mainly a contract sale of her long-time business that ended up a legal and financial debacle. She has no assets and small SS payments as her only income. So I provide some financial help. Next week she's turning 84: living independently, happy, healthy, a delight to her many friends, and a beloved volunteer all over town. And sure a catastrophic event could change everything tomorrow - and some tomorrow it probably will - but meanwhile she's had a great last 15 years, broke and all, which is more than a lot of 70-year-olds get (even if rich). Money isn't everything.
Thank you for posting this; it made me smile. It is good to remember that people are much more than their financial picture.
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Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by shawcroft » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:38 pm

We provided substantial support to my wife's mother after she was widowed in 1986 at age 62. For reasons I never understood, she and her husband never saved much so when he passed away it was obvious to my wife (she is an only child) and I that her mother would need assistance if she was going to live independently.
She had perhaps $45,000 from life insurance and some savings back in 1986. Her only income was Social Security which she started at 65. With that and our assistance, she was able to live independently until shortly before her passing in 2007.
It was the right decision and have no regrets about doing that for her. More recently, there is now a 70 year old spendthrift member of my wife's "extended" family who knows of the support we gave my wife's mother and is "hinting" about the dire financial circumstance looming on her horizon. My advice to this individual has been to save as much as you can and work as long as you can.
Shawcroft

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Re: Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by megabad » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:50 pm

berg wrote:
Tue Oct 28, 2014 7:16 pm
For anybody with experience with this with a parent, any tips or things I might not have thought of?
I wouldn't worry much. Sounds as if he is in a very common situation. I think most survive just fine on SS and Medicaid and he is old enough for both.

Years ago, one of my grandmothers had only SS for many years and she did fine. She blew threw the small life insurance policy about 40 years prior to her death and worked only part time after that until retiring early with basically no savings. I remember my parents had to pitch in for the last few months because she was forcibly removed from the Medicaid nursing home and had to go elsewhere, but upon selling her house, she had enough to cover it anyway. While she was able to refuse, she would not accept money from family. From anyone, ever. That was just her way. I think I remember her being happy in the end, but ready to go.

I would offer support to my parents if they needed it because I know who they are and how they are with money. Of course, because of the people they are, they would never ask for financial assistance unless it was life or death. I think if the question was asked by in-laws, I would need to get to know them better and/or spouse would have to vouch for them. If you are married, I believe it is key to clarifying this early on with spouse.

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Re: Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by Ron » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:56 pm

Since the OP posted the question back in 2014, what actually happened?

- Ron

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Re: Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by csm » Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:24 pm

Beth* wrote:
Wed Oct 29, 2014 6:50 pm

My mother-in-law had a stroke and could no longer live on her own without all day assistance/supervision because she developed issues with short-term memory, impulse control, and incontinence, and she needed help dressing, making her meals, etc. She was not incapacitated enough to qualify for a nursing home, which Medicaid would have helped pay for. In the state where she lived Medicaid did not offer any assistance for people who needed assisted living but not a nursing home (I think this varies by state). We had to supplement what she could pay to keep her in assisted living.
Having recently repatriated to the U.S. after 30 years abroad, and unfamiliar with these delicate situations, what happens if there are no adult children (or other relatives) to help? Or if the adult children do not have the means to help?

My husband and I have no children and we certainly hope we are never in a position where we cannot provide whatever medical or assisted-living care that we might need for ourselves (but one never knows). But I also know the cost of long-term care can be extreme. What if pensions and savings don't cover it? And there are no relatives to assist?

Sorry, this question may sound naive, but wouldn't Medicaid or some other option have to step in? An elderly person is not going to be thrown onto the street, are they?

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Re: Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by cashmoney » Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:11 pm

First thing is if he qualifies for a Medicare Savings Program it will save him 135.50 per month for his Medicare part B .Each state is different but lower than 1350.00 monthly income probably qualifies in most states.


https://www.medicare.gov/your-medicare- ... s-programs

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Re: Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by sergeant » Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:33 pm

Ron wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:56 pm
Since the OP posted the question back in 2014, what actually happened?

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Re: Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:35 pm

sergeant wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:33 pm
Ron wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:56 pm
Since the OP posted the question back in 2014, what actually happened?

- Ron
Zombie thread! :D
OP appears to have posted as recently as last month, and was possibly logged in in late Feb.

RM
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Cody
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Re: Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by Cody » Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:48 pm

We found that seeing a cousellor my wife and I was the best thing we could do in a similar situation. She helped us focus on financial issues that were often personal - psychological issues that we felt about the situation. She was a licensed pshcholigist not a money consellor.

So what did she do with us. We would discuss things (many of which were fincancial in nature) and we would tell her what we planned to do to help the individual financially.

This helped us from going done the "rabbit hole". It helped us put limits on our help. It got my wife and I on the same page with this situation.

In a sense we learned more about ourselves than the individual we were helping. I was reluctant to use a counsellor but glad we did.

Disclaimer: The counsellor refrained from any discussion on the technicallities of our finance, thus stayed well within the boundries of her licensed area. Her job was to focus us and get us looking at the big picture.

Cody

Sam1
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Re: Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by Sam1 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:51 am

csm wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:24 pm
Beth* wrote:
Wed Oct 29, 2014 6:50 pm

My mother-in-law had a stroke and could no longer live on her own without all day assistance/supervision because she developed issues with short-term memory, impulse control, and incontinence, and she needed help dressing, making her meals, etc. She was not incapacitated enough to qualify for a nursing home, which Medicaid would have helped pay for. In the state where she lived Medicaid did not offer any assistance for people who needed assisted living but not a nursing home (I think this varies by state). We had to supplement what she could pay to keep her in assisted living.
Having recently repatriated to the U.S. after 30 years abroad, and unfamiliar with these delicate situations, what happens if there are no adult children (or other relatives) to help? Or if the adult children do not have the means to help?

My husband and I have no children and we certainly hope we are never in a position where we cannot provide whatever medical or assisted-living care that we might need for ourselves (but one never knows). But I also know the cost of long-term care can be extreme. What if pensions and savings don't cover it? And there are no relatives to assist?

Sorry, this question may sound naive, but wouldn't Medicaid or some other option have to step in? An elderly person is not going to be thrown onto the street, are they?
Nope. There are various programs that help. Whether it’s a home health aide or other programs through the specific state like adult daycare. Makes sense Medicaid wouldn’t pay for assisted living for someone who only needed minimal assistance.

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FelixTheCat
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Re: Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by FelixTheCat » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:13 pm

I suggest you help him by researching government entitlements such as food stamps, medicare, etc. You can bring groceries, help do chores at his house, etc. if you desire.
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FBN2014
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Re: Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by FBN2014 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:31 am

I would start the process of applying for government benefits now, I.e. food stamps, Medicaid, housing vouchers, assisted living through the PACE program. Visit your local government senior affairs office to see what benefits he qualifies for.
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Re: Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by mrc » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:56 am

My mother has only SS for income and only basic Medicare (A/B/D). Once her savings (proceeds from a house sale in a very depressed LCOL area) were exhausted, we applied for public assistance. She qualified for, SNAP, help paying for Medicare Part D, and moved into a Section 8 apartment complex every bit as nice as one where her rent was ~3 times higher.

In the old apartment, after rent she had very little left over. Once in the new unit, with the rental subsidy, she can more than cover her expenses. She even has a small saving amount built up for unplanned major expenses (crowns, hearing aids, major surgery). She writes a check each month to the Meals on Wheels program to 'pay them back' for her meals.

She feels much better about her situation now that she doesn't need money from me every month to meet expenses. Wait lists are long, so apply early and be prepared to wait things out. For her, paying $350/mo in rent instead of $1000/mo made all the difference.
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berg
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Re: Elderly parent on path to run out of money in 6 months

Post by berg » Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:51 am

OP here! Wow, this thread was resurrected.

Within a year of the original post my father suffered a deep decline in his health. At the time of my post, he was on a path to only have his limited income barely his expenses. What I feared in my original post was a catastrophic event. It turns out the catastrophic event made things easier, but leading up to it was more difficult and put a big burden on my family. When he was in a steep decline, but not yet eligible for nursing home, it was very difficult to get him services and he was discharged from the hospital several times in a situation where he was doomed to fail and end up back in the hospital. This would have been the time, had he been able to afford it that an assistant living like place would have allowed him to do better. This was the scariest period for us. At one point my sister and I were told to visit him every other day to make sure he was taking his medications (he lived about 30 minutes away from both of us and we both had full-time jobs and kids).

Eventually, his health declined to the point where he was sent to the emergency room one weekend and then needed to be discharged to a nursing home. This left my sister and I about 48 hours to visit several nursing homes that had open beds for medicare/medcaid patients. The quality of several we visited was appalling. For context, these within 30 minutes of Boston. We even experienced some that told the hospital they had medicare beds, but then changed their stories. It wasn't exactly clear to me what happened. We "lucked" out when on Monday we got a call from an additional one that had a bed. It was by far the nicest we looked at, but still not comparable to the private pay nursing homes.

My father has now been there 3.5 years. The nursing home covers his needs, but each visit is a reminder that I would not choose it for myself and need to be better prepared for the future.

One other thing you might find interesting. During his medicaid application, the person reviewing his application went back several years in the bank accounts. At one point she asked me where $30,000 went over several years. The only response I had, was I don't know he spent it and blew through his money. It was the truth. Of course, he was covered and I am grateful, though did make me wonder how easy it is for less honest people to get rid of assets, even with the various rules in place.

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