bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

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Admiral Fun
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bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by Admiral Fun »

A cousin of mine has multiple struggles (bipolar/alcoholic/broke/a little jail time) at the age of 50.

He held on to a professional career for about 15 years, but was let go and is now unemployable to anyone who runs a background check. He has a house with maybe $50,000 in equity, student loan bills, and continuing legal troubles that will take another year or two to resolve. I believe he pays his mortgage, but other bills are not getting paid. Retirement accounts have been liquidated. Parents and sister are fairly dysfunctional and not able to help much. No kids.

I live in another state, but we talk by phone every few weeks. Maybe it's unrealistic because his life is in disarray, but I'd like to help him put together a plan for moving forward financially -- i.e. a path to earn or save a little money, avoid homelessness.

What is the best case scenario for someone like my cousin in old age and what, if any, advice can I give that will help take control of his finances?

Examples: Should he sell his house and cancel his debts? (but the house is his main source of stability) Declare bankruptcy? How to find a job after serving time?

I realize that this is not the typical Boglehead post, but I value the insights of those on this forum. Thank you.
Random Poster
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by Random Poster »

What is the chance that he could max out his credit cards and start, say, a lawn business or a mobile car wash business? Start up costs should be reasonably cheap: truck, trailer, and associated business equipment (mower, trimmer, etc, or a plastic water tank, sprayer, generator, etc). If he is unemployable, then he needs to employ himself.
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Nate79
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by Nate79 »

Dave Ramsey.
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RickBoglehead
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by RickBoglehead »

Guardianship. Had a relative bipolar and manic. Nothing you can do to make them self sufficient.
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capsaicinguy
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by capsaicinguy »

Nate79 wrote: Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:06 pm Dave Ramsey.
This.
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fortfun
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by fortfun »

I would start by connecting him with the social services available in his area. Until the mental health situation is under control (probably with meds) and the alcohol is under control (maybe more meds/counseling) it will be impossible to accomplish much. I'd work on these first. It is quite likely that bankruptcy could be the best step forward. I would think the local county, city, or state would have some vocational training/vocational jobs that could keep him employed, fed, clothed, and off the streets. Consider moving him out to Utah, where I understand they have excellent programs for this type of person.
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

capsaicinguy wrote: Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:15 pm
Nate79 wrote: Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:06 pm Dave Ramsey.
This.
Wrong. The OP's relative has a medical condition which can lead to uncontrolled bouts of spending. Make no mistake, it's a disease and no amount of FPU is going to address it. I had a relative with the condition and as the other poster alluded, only a court-ordered guardianship will help.
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cableguy
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by cableguy »

Its never too late to get better. Go to AA meetings. Get sober. Treatment....even outpatient. He needs to make his recovery the priority, and everything else will fall into place. IMHO....
dbr
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by dbr »

RickBoglehead wrote: Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:11 pm Guardianship. Had a relative bipolar and manic. Nothing you can do to make them self sufficient.
I think that may well end up the case. However, it is possible to bring bipolar disorder under control as well as drug and alcohol addiction. The first requires close supervision by a good psychiatrist and the second is a long and difficult haul. Most addiction treatment does not understand and cope well with comorbidity such as bipolar disorder. Care and support from community services may be essential. You probably should start by seeking support from local social services departments, psychiatric care, and addiction clinics/groups. Bringing bipolar disorder under control is the starting point, but that disorder is not curable and is notorious for relapse.

I would do everything possible to keep him in his home. You will need a durable power of attorney to do anything really useful. You will also need a healthcare power of attorney to involve yourself in any medical issues. If you are not going to involve yourself someone will need to be found to take care, meaning a guardian. Again I would consult with local social services and pray you find some good people. In old age the scenario is some level of institutionalization supported by Medicaid/other disability sources with some sort of control of psychiatric illnesses together with successful addiction treatment. Homelessness would be a likely outcome as well unless you take in this person yourself.

My opinion is based on personal experience and I would not underestimate the difficulty of being successful. It is probably impossible from a distance and depends also on the will and determination of the individual just when those resources are nearly non-existent.

Suggestions to do any of the usual self-sufficient activities such as earning income of any kind, controlling finances, etc. are beyond futile.

Good luck.
RobLyons
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by RobLyons »

Does he even want help?
If it were my family member, I would recommend he address the mental health issues first, then AA, then decide how to best move forward with his financial issues.
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Teague
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by Teague »

Your intentions are admirable. However, has he asked for your advice? I think most people won't listen to unsolicited advice. It does not sound like he is anywhere near needing a conservator, from what I can tell by your post. The bar for that is quite high. The world is full of mentally ill broke addicted ex-cons. Very very few have a conservator.

I would let him know that you want to help him and ask him what you can do to help him get going in a good direction. Have clear limits set (e.g. no loaning him money, no moving in to sleep on your couch, etc.) beforehand and rehearse saying "no" to such requests. But start a dialogue with him. He may have some issues but they are common ones that folks deal with often. Not to say that's easy, but it gets done all the time. Some are more successful than others.

It's his life and it's not going to go in any direction that he does not choose. Ask him what he needs. If you can help, great. If not, you tried.
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McGilicutty
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by McGilicutty »

Bipolar runs in my family, so I have some experience with this. He may be able to get on disability. You may want to consult with an attorney licensed in his state who specializes in getting disability for folks. However, my understanding is that it can take quite a while to get on disability.

Medicaid may be an option for health insurance, but as a single man with no kids his state's Medicaid may not cover him. If he is able to get on disability, he may qualify for Medicare.

Agree with the other posters who recommended to get him involved with social services in his area. Most (all?) AA meetings are free and the social services may be able to connect him with a psychiatrist for cheap.

Consult with an attorney before liquidating the house. It may get some kind of special treatment in bankruptcy and he may be able to keep it even if the creditors take everything else.

If he makes it through to the other side, call centers are typically desperate for people and are more likely than other employers to hire those with less than ideal backgrounds.

Good luck! Bipolar is hell for the afflicted as well as being hell for the afflicted's family. However, I've seen people come out the other side OK.
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by Nate79 »

Grt2bOutdoors wrote: Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:28 pm
capsaicinguy wrote: Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:15 pm
Nate79 wrote: Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:06 pm Dave Ramsey.
This.
Wrong. The OP's relative has a medical condition which can lead to uncontrolled bouts of spending. Make no mistake, it's a disease and no amount of FPU is going to address it. I had a relative with the condition and as the other poster alluded, only a court-ordered guardianship will help.
Fixing the health part is an important part and any Dave Ramsey plan isn't in any way against getting the health issue solved.
dbr
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by dbr »

Teague wrote: Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:09 pm Your intentions are admirable. However, has he asked for your advice? I think most people won't listen to unsolicited advice. It does not sound like he is anywhere near needing a conservator, from what I can tell by your post. The bar for that is quite high. The world is full of mentally ill broke addicted ex-cons. Very very few have a conservator.
In my experience with these issues advice is not a meaningful concept nor is it likely the individual is going to ask for help.

I agree conservatorship is a last resort and a high bar to clear. Prior to that a combination of family, medical providers, and social services have to step in and take care of the individual.
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by drawpoker »

Presumably he has both a doctor (to treat his bi-polar and alcoholism conditions) and a lawyer (to address the continuing legal issues mentioned)

Ideally, with the 2 professionals working together, perhaps at his next court appearance, an admission (or at least getting on the waiting list) to a half-way house for offenders with these conditions could be pursued. It is worth discussing with his lawyer if he agrees to it.

Getting him into a safe environment with no threat of imminent homelessness would seem to be priority #1. After that, the OP can assist in getting his house sold before foreclosure or some other financial disaster, settling other creditor accounts, and seeking legal aid for bankruptcy protection if it is deemed to be the only avenue.

Under no circumstances should the cousin be assisted in starting up a small biz as a self-employed individual! The reason the rate of alcohol abuse is so high among the self-employed is obvious. The freedoms enjoyed by being self-employed and having no boss to answer to make a very attractive setting for people to engage in alcoholism and other addictions.
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Admiral Fun
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by Admiral Fun »

Thanks for your thoughtful responses everyone. Here are a few take home points so far...
  • Mental health and AA should be first. Seek support from local social services departments, psychiatric care, and addiction clinics/groups
  • Do everything possible to keep him in his home. Consult with an attorney before liquidating the house.
  • Employment perhaps not likely but local vocational training/vocational jobs, call centers, landscaping are possibilities
  • Consult an attorney about getting on disability. Look into Medicaid.
  • Long term, he may need guardianship, healthcare power of attorney
  • Ask him what he needs & set limits
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burt
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by burt »

I have a relative going through the same thing. Mental illness combined with severe substance abuse. He started out well with a college education, job at a Fortune 100 company, married, nice house and cars. Within the past 4 years he has lost everything. Job, wife, house, and is living with parents. Numerous rehabs, arrests, and jail. I'm not sure he will ever be self sufficient or employable. I've advised his parents to get counseling or attend self help groups to learn how to cope with the situation. It's amazing how many people are negatively impacted by their association with this person.
The parents need to protect themselves and make sure they aren't dragged down the rabbit hole with him.
Mr. Rumples
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by Mr. Rumples »

I help care for someone who is, well they can't determine the illness frankly, but bipolar II seems the most reasonable with moods that can switch on a dime. On the other hand, he has good interpersonal skills; he has learned to isolate when things are rough. We found that the medications he use to take actually exasperate the swings; but that is him, and is not for everyone and he has finally found a good psychologist (actually a nurse) who has helped him more than anyone else. He runs a small business, mostly lawn and some other outdoor work such as gutter cleaning which lets him determine his schedule and has little overhead. He also works as a helper for a carpenter in the off season. He has about 50 yards he does which is more than he can handle and now has a helper and just got a new truck. My guess is he grosses about $40K to $50K a year based on the number of yards and his charges. He rents a nice little efficiency over a garage in a good neighborhood for $600 a month. At first, another relative paid the rent and he reimbursed the relative until the landlord was convinced it was all on the up and up.

It is possible for some to find the balance between severe mental illness and functioning, but it is difficult. Some can't but having the will and the support is an important step. As I think back, we had a friend, a PHD (geology) who had to go to a support group every day. Being his friend was difficult but rewarding.

But if your relative can't make it, then consult an attorney for options and you might need support as mentioned above to help deal with him getting lost.
lifeisinmirrors
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by lifeisinmirrors »

RickBoglehead wrote: Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:11 pm Guardianship. Had a relative bipolar and manic. Nothing you can do to make them self sufficient.
You are using one extreme example to stereotype everyone who has this diagnosis. A more typical example is someone who needs to take one prescription daily and sees a doctor for 30 minutes every month or so.
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by RickBoglehead »

lifeisinmirrors wrote: Tue Oct 29, 2019 6:26 am
RickBoglehead wrote: Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:11 pm Guardianship. Had a relative bipolar and manic. Nothing you can do to make them self sufficient.
You are using one extreme example to stereotype everyone who has this diagnosis. A more typical example is someone who needs to take one prescription daily and sees a doctor for 30 minutes every month or so.
More typical?

OP stated "bipolar/alcoholic/broke/a little jail time". Nothing "typical" about that.
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lifeisinmirrors
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by lifeisinmirrors »

RickBoglehead wrote: Tue Oct 29, 2019 6:28 am
lifeisinmirrors wrote: Tue Oct 29, 2019 6:26 am
RickBoglehead wrote: Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:11 pm Guardianship. Had a relative bipolar and manic. Nothing you can do to make them self sufficient.
You are using one extreme example to stereotype everyone who has this diagnosis. A more typical example is someone who needs to take one prescription daily and sees a doctor for 30 minutes every month or so.
More typical?

OP stated "bipolar/alcoholic/broke/a little jail time". Nothing "typical" about that.
Those things are all typical symptoms for someone who isn't getting any treatment. They don't indicate that the person can never be self-sufficient.
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by galawdawg »

You may want to suggest to your cousin that he speak with his attorney about the availability of an "accountability" court program in his jurisdiction and whether he could be considered (based upon his current charges, prior record, risk/need assessment, etc). Accountability or treatment courts are one of the criminal justice "flavors of the day" and while I am not a fan of them in general, for SOME defendants who are serious about getting their lives together, it can be a benefit to both them and the community in many ways.

Unfortunately, my experience was that quite a few who entered those court programs were just seeking to avoid prison time and didn't seriously intend to live a different life. My observation was that the political support and funding for these courts was such that those involved (judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, treatment providers, etc) did everything possible to avoid terminating someone from that program which meant that those defendants who didn't take it seriously, kept using drugs/alcohol or kept violating the law were often stilll allowed to "graduate" and have their records expunged despite not having truly complied with the requirements. Just like public schools are under pressure to keep their graduation rates high, these courts don't want to be seen as a failure (and judges and District Attorneys in Georgia receive significant extra compensation for having such court programs). I also observed that those involved often lost their "objectivity" in dealing with violations as they became very acquainted with the defendants and their families during their regular interactions. I suspect that if an outside judge, DA and defense attorney was brought in to these courts to handle allegations of violations, the graduation rates from these programs would plummet. I also found that the recidivism rate for those who "graduated" was just as high as those who weren't put into these "boutique" courts. But, let me get off my soapbox. I only mention all of this to say that if your cousin is serious about getting his issues addressed and living a happy, productive, law-abiding life, a treatment or accountability court may be a good option to explore. if he isn't "ready" to make the necessary changes, it won't help him other than to possibly avoid some jail or prison time.

I'm not sure why his legal troubles will take a year or two to resolve unless his case is unusually complex or he is contesting his guilt and exercising his constitutional right to trial. If he wants to resolve his legal troubles more quickly with a plea, he should be able to do that within a very short period of time, even in the busiest jurisdictions.

I recommend that he get his legal issues addressed first, the "financial planning" stuff can be a second priority. Much of what would be financially advisable will depend on whether he will need to provide for his own food, clothing and shelter for the next few years or whether the taxpayers and his state's Department of Corrections will take on that responsibility.

None of this should be considered legal advice, IANYL and IANHL. I hope he is able to get his life heading in the right direction.
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by harvestbook »

Alcoholism is a disease that can't be treated medically or with counseling. It can't be cured, but it can be treated through a twelve-step program IF the person wants it. Nothing can help an alcoholic who doesn't want help. This observation is based on watching hundreds live and die in Alcoholics Anonymous and hearing thousands of personal stories.

I don't have any experience with a bipolar condition, but broke/jail time is pretty much the fate of many alcoholics unless the disease kills us first. We get plenty of people in AA who are getting papers signed for the courts, but almost zero of them come back once they have a choice. Financial worries would be last on my list if I was not sober today.
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by carolinaman »

fortfun wrote: Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:24 pm I would start by connecting him with the social services available in his area. Until the mental health situation is under control (probably with meds) and the alcohol is under control (maybe more meds/counseling) it will be impossible to accomplish much. I'd work on these first. It is quite likely that bankruptcy could be the best step forward. I would think the local county, city, or state would have some vocational training/vocational jobs that could keep him employed, fed, clothed, and off the streets. Consider moving him out to Utah, where I understand they have excellent programs for this type of person.
+1. I totally agree with this. He has to get his life under control before worrying about a financial plan. Of course, there may be financial things that need to be done while this is going on, i.e. bankruptcy or other actions imposed on him.
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by dbr »

Admiral Fun wrote: Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:43 pm Thanks for your thoughtful responses everyone. Here are a few take home points so far...
  • Mental health and AA should be first. Seek support from local social services departments, psychiatric care, and addiction clinics/groups
  • Do everything possible to keep him in his home. Consult with an attorney before liquidating the house.
  • Employment perhaps not likely but local vocational training/vocational jobs, call centers, landscaping are possibilities
  • Consult an attorney about getting on disability. Look into Medicaid.
  • Long term, he may need guardianship, healthcare power of attorney
  • Ask him what he needs & set limits
I would add POA over his finances for the purpose of making sure bills, especially mortgage and taxes, are paid and to monitor where money is spent. For the family member I care for (bipolar addict) I collect all the mail, arrange for everything to be paid, interact with social services for benefits*, and handle tax issues (he does have some permanent income). He is not legally incompetent so I run all affairs that need his signature through him and review what is going on. I am not sure this can be done by someone not living in the same community.

*Interaction with public assistance seems to require multiple submissions of various documentation through the year. The typical letter usually contains the statement "If the requested documentation is not submitted within ten day of the date of this mailing benefits will be terminated." So far they haven't terminated anything, but I do take it seriously. There was a kerfluffle recently of some thousands losing public medical benefits over non-response to one of those letters. The typical problem is people who are not organized enough to open their mail. That is why you have to do it.
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by Shallowpockets »

As you stated in your first post, it may be unrealistic. And it is.
He is 50. Had his job for 15 years. Lost it due to his problems. He must have known then. But he did not address it.
Now, from a different state, you think you can help.
In all likelihood this will not happen.

The essence of his support is that he MUST keep his home. Once that goes and he becomes homeless, the difficulty of his life will increase by a huge huge factor.

Kudos to you for your compassion.
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by DiscoBunny1979 »

RickBoglehead wrote: Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:11 pm Guardianship. Had a relative bipolar and manic. Nothing you can do to make them self sufficient.
This is so wrong. Like others have noted, getting evaluated is one of the first steps to getting on a good path. The other first step of course is that the person has to admit they have a problem (not only to themselves but to others) . . . and to take action. A combination of Counseling AND Medication are the appropriate steps to start. Finding to root cause of one's bipolar or manic mood swings can also help. Once they are defined in terms of triggers OR how to determine when one is in a manic episode, one can put the breaks on such episode IF they are willing and strong willed to do so. However, some of these mental issues have no "cure" and therefore it's an ongoing life-long struggle that requires a support system.

In terms of selling the home, in my opinion, since some with Manic/bipolar issues overspend, I don't think it's wise to sell a house with equity, essentially putting cash in his/her pocket to spend and really have no money. What state is this person in? In CA one can have a certain $$ in a home, declare the home as a "homestead" can keep the home/equity in a bankruptcy proceeding OR when applying for medical state benefits (MediCal). So owning a home is a good thing. Everyone needs a place to live and therefore I would not encourage him/her to sell the house.

It's my understanding that student loan debts are still not be discharged in bankruptcy. What 'other' bills are not getting paid?

One thing to consider is that the person should have some type of personal liability insurance if they can get it. This type of insurance can cover personal negligence when off of one's property. And by the way, is the insurance on the home not being paid?
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by stonerolled »

cableguy wrote: Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:31 pm Its never too late to get better. Go to AA meetings. Get sober. Treatment....even outpatient. He needs to make his recovery the priority, and everything else will fall into place. IMHO....
+1000
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by JBTX »

lifeisinmirrors wrote: Tue Oct 29, 2019 6:26 am
RickBoglehead wrote: Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:11 pm Guardianship. Had a relative bipolar and manic. Nothing you can do to make them self sufficient.
You are using one extreme example to stereotype everyone who has this diagnosis. A more typical example is someone who needs to take one prescription daily and sees a doctor for 30 minutes every month or so.
I cant quote statistics, but based on experience with a couple of relatives, doctors feedback and a couple of forums for those that suffer bipolar symptoms what you are describing is not at all typical. Several medications at a time is common. Different meds treat different symptoms. Sometimes a med can treat the core symptoms but has a side effect that must be treated. And in spite of all that, the meds may help but they don't eliminate the problems.
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by RickBoglehead »

A few responds have indicated that getting diagnosed is the first step. Since the OP noted "bipolar", which is a diagnosis, seems like that's already been done. A person that is diagnosed bipolar, along with the other issues, and the resulting consequences noted, is likely far along the process and in fact likely in need of outside help because the bipolar issues combined with the other issues may render them incapable of managing their life without help. Guardianship removes the ability of the person to destroy their financial situation themselves, and puts the burden on someone else.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.
Luckywon
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by Luckywon »

OP, your efforts to assist your cousin are admirable. I would caution that any legal maneuver to assume responsibility for your cousin's welfare, such as power of attorney or guardianship, presents I believe an unwise degree of risk to yourself. Do not underestimate the possibility that your cousin may turn on you at some point or may even be manipulating you currently. I am not suggesting you should cease your efforts to assist your cousin, but be cautious and make sure you do not expose yourself to any legal liability. For example, under no circumstances should you assist your cousin in any questionably legal maneuver to obtain benefits or otherwise game the system. That could expose you to blackmail in the future. Sorry to give such a cynical perspective but I am speaking from personal experience.
JDave
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by JDave »

The best advice you can give him is to join Alcoholics Anonymous, and follow their program.
The second best advice you can give him is to find a good psychiatrist, and take his bipolar meds.
Without those two things, financial help is spitting in the wind.
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by CurlyDave »

stonerolled wrote: Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:51 am
cableguy wrote: Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:31 pm Its never too late to get better. Go to AA meetings. Get sober. Treatment....even outpatient. He needs to make his recovery the priority, and everything else will fall into place. IMHO....
+1000
+1 more.

AA will help with the alcoholism, if he wants to go. But many will not go. AA will also be good for the bipolar.

If he will take the bipolar meds that will also help, but few will take them.

When a bipolar goes into a manic phase, he will spend everything he has and borrow more to keep spending.

DO NOT help with your personal funds. He will spend it all and want more.
alfaspider
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by alfaspider »

Nate79 wrote: Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:06 pm Dave Ramsey.
The Dave Ramsey advice seems to be geared towards folks who are outspending what they earn trying to maintain a middle class lifestyle. This is not that. You can't do a debt reduction snowball without some source of income- nor will any budgeting make ends meet without money coming in the door.

Seems like getting the alcoholism and mental health in check is a prerequisite to getting the financial house in order. However, it may be a good idea to sell the house while it can still be sold. The equity can be used to pay rent on a modest apartment while he gets back on his feet. Not sure if this is an appropriate case for guardianship, but it's something to look into.
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Sandtrap
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by Sandtrap »

Does he want to quit drinking (and other addictions) enough to go to AA, etc, and commit to "real" change?
Does he want to go to therapy, etc, for the bipolar issues?

Without these, nothing will happen and behavior will repeat. And, no amount of financial advice or strategy will help.

Self destructive behavior is the primary issue (no matter the "reasons" or "justifications").

Selling the home and paying off debt can be a good life simplification lst step, but, the windfall will soon be squandered and things might continue until even rent can't be paid.

j :happy
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psy1
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by psy1 »

I have skimmed the responses thus far. Seems like an odd compilation of bad advice for this forum.

I am a psychiatrist so forgive my viewpoint. If he has a combination of alcoholism, bipolar, and legal problems at age 50 (assuming accurate) then he has likely made a lot of willful mistakes and not taken the advice of legions of well-meaning helpers. Therefore the likelihood that you could help him from the sidelines is unlikely.

The best help you could give him is to insist that he get involved with a comprehensive treatment plan somewhere that is based on sobriety, medication management, and support (therapy, case management, AA, etc.). If you offer any financial help, it should be structured as an incentive to comply with all of those things. You should be prepared for some tough love such as withdrawing support at strike one. Not all helpers are cut out for that. If giving financial aid, you should require tangible proof that he is complying with the parameters that you set. Perhaps a monthly telephone call with a case manager or sponsor for example.

If you offer financial aid otherwise you are pouring fuel on the fire.
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by Dottie57 »

Just a note. Drinking can be a way of dealing with BiPolar. Taking care of bipolar can help diminish the desire to drink.
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Re: bipolar/alcoholic/broke/jail time - how to move forward financially?

Post by RadAudit »

harvestbook wrote: Tue Oct 29, 2019 7:06 am Alcoholism is a disease that can't be treated medically or with counseling. It can't be cured, but it can be treated through a twelve-step program IF the person wants it. Nothing can help an alcoholic who doesn't want help. This observation is based on watching hundreds live and die in Alcoholics Anonymous and hearing thousands of personal stories.

I don't have any experience with a bipolar condition, but broke/jail time is pretty much the fate of many alcoholics unless the disease kills us first. We get plenty of people in AA who are getting papers signed for the courts, but almost zero of them come back once they have a choice. Financial worries would be last on my list if I was not sober today.
Keep fighting. Best of luck.
FI is the best revenge. LBYM. Invest the rest. Stay the course. - PS: The cavalry isn't coming, kids. You are on your own.
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