Family Help

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
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Family Help

Post by barber » Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:34 pm


A little headway on helping my brother. We changed car and home insurance, saves about $100 per month. Rental house is pending sale, another potential headache removed. I am planning that he will need income to cover monthly bill deficit and spending. The total funds will be about 175k. He has never ventured into anything but cd,s. I am going to propose about $100k to Wellesley and balance in short term vehicles. I am open to other suggestions. THANKS

My sister in law passed two weeks ago leaving my brother to fend for himself. They were married for 35 years and for the past 10 he has been her caregiver. In return she handled the finances. My brother is prone to not to making a decision, but will discuss it with me now that his wife is gone. His health is fair, no children, 2 step, that did not involve their mother in their lives. The residence is free and clear and a rental that might clear 100k if sold. They were discussing this before she passed so he would be comfortable making that choice. They currently have 75k in a cd and checking account. The monthly expenses minus food, gas etc are $1120. His SS and interest are $979. Residence will need roof and hvac system any time as they 20 years old. Vehicle is very dependable. I will try and help him,but there is not much to work with. I can for see a reverse mortgage in the future. He would like to continue to live in the residence. The looming major expenses have altered my thoughts on a spia. He and his wife have always been risk adverse. I would like some new eyes and thoughts on my project. Thank you for your thoughts.
Last edited by barber on Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Family Help

Post by soccerrules » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:03 pm

Sorry for your family's loss.

On the information provided. Possible ideas.

1) Move to rental and sell presumably larger primary residence. More cash, less expenses (less taxes, insurance, upkeep-maybe?)
2) Add a paying roommate to current residence (offsets costs and provides social interaction ?)
3) Add part time job for B.I.L. ?

Seems like a tough situation all the way around.
Don't let your outflow exceed your income or your upkeep will be your downfall.

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Re: Family Help

Post by delamer » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:38 pm

What does the $1120/month cover if not food, gas, etc.?

Does he receive income from the rental?

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Re: Family Help

Post by HomeStretch » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:47 pm

Based on his low means and income, does he qualify for any assistance - property tax relief, utilities assistance, food, etc.?

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Re: Family Help

Post by Nate79 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:01 pm

Sell the rental and maybe consider an SPIA. At best he needs to spend less than he makes. May need to sell the home. How much is the home worth? If he can downsize and pocket the difference and reduce the risk of a huge expense like hvac or roof even better.

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Re: Family Help

Post by barber » Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:30 pm

re taxes 146
auto ins 57
home ins 62
rx ins 77
med ins 248 aarp united health
n. gas 123
util-w,t,s,e 184 electric is HIGH
cable 90 looking to reduce or eliminate
prescripts 85 out of pockets cost
phone 46 landline, no cell
Born and raised in this small town. Utilities are bought and resold, thus high cost. I am looking to raise insurance deductibles. The present residence is best place for him. It has attached garage wheelchair lift wheelchair accessible and a better floor plan. Rental income was $900 monthly, but tenant is moving and he believes it is time to sell as he is 76. I have him set up for auto pay on utilities and insurance. Thanks for replying.

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Re: Family Help

Post by delamer » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:16 pm

Assuming that the taxes and insurance aren’t too high, he is getting a good return on the rental property.

Unless it is a major burden or it is going to require a lot of repairs/maintenance, it could be worth keeping.

A reverse mortgage on his home is worth considering.

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Re: Family Help

Post by Katietsu » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:31 pm

If he sells the rental, his income is now less than $12,000 a year. He will then qualify for help with his prescription costs, heating costs, possibly property tax rebate, maybe meal delivery and more. There are a lot of programs for seniors that consider only income not assets.

Start by contacting the Agency on Aging for his county or state. They might be able to give you information on all the various programs. What state does he live in?

I would definitely work on this before considering SPIA or a reverse mortgage. It is possible that by increasing his income, he could actually lose more in benefits. I once turned down $2000 for an elderly person as it was going to cost them $3500 in benefits.

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Re: Family Help

Post by BarbBrooklyn » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:16 am

I see he is 76 yo. Is the additional insurance payment for Medicare advantage or medigap? (Edited)

Has he applied for Medicaid? Was wife on Medicaid? Are there any Medicaid liens on the house?
Last edited by BarbBrooklyn on Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Family Help

Post by megabad » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:30 am

barber wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:34 pm
Thank you for your thoughts.
Seems like brother is in decent shape assuming he is still independent (it sounds like he is if he was a caregiver). Better than most. If he sells the rental, he will have $175,000 to live the rest of his life. He is 76 so this seems reasonable given that he has ~900 monthly in SS. I assume that the will explicitly stated that he receives all assets (not the children). Total expenses are probably $18,000 a year, so he should have plenty if he is careful. He is likely slightly overpaying for "health insurance"/Medicare but I wouldn't worry too much about it if he is happy with it since this is complicated to figure out. If a serious health issue arises, he can deplete assets and go on Medicaid if absolutely necessary but I would cross that bridge when (and if) it comes.

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Re: Family Help

Post by barber » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:21 am

Thanks for the thoughts

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