Family member with almost no retirement savings or assets, what to do?

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Herekittykitty
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Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:11 pm
Location: Flyover Country

Re: Family member with almost no retirement savings or assets, what to do?

Post by Herekittykitty » Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:02 pm

Lafder wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:13 am
Expenses 2000/month, SSDI 2000/month, plus extra income more than 100% of this for now, with implication of more to come, plus savings.

His financial situation is quite good!

He has some savings. I would suggest saving every bit of what he can for future emergencies.

I would not suggest the expense of a move or buying an older less reliable car.

If he can get expenses to 1800-1900/month, he can save the extra and build an extra buffer even once workman's comp ends.

He can also ask family for help if needed if his savings run out.

:)
Agreed!

Although it did look to me like the expenses were $2,000 plus medical expenses. We don't know how much the medical expenses are. So:
SSDI income - Total expenses = $2,000 - ($2,000 + medical expenses) = a negative number. But the exact figures don't change the advice above, which is very good.

Current (Temporary) Workman's Comp income = $3,500. Some of this will have to cover medical expenses plus any necessities inadvertently not accounted for in the $2,000 a month expense figure. The rest needs to go to savings. Keep it in a separate account (plain savings account is fine for this at least for now) so it doesn't get mixed in with the spending account.

Leave the $20,000 alone. Leave the $10,000 in the 401k alone except be sure it is invested reasonably conservatively.

Right now Uncle cannot afford to take risk. And he needs to build up savings. He also should not be making changes such as in living situation or in vehicle at this time and maybe never.

He should keep doing the above as long as his financial situation is subject to significant change one way or another. Should there become clarity as to what is financial situation is going to be, or should his financial situation change significantly one way or another, the answers to any financial questions could be different.
I don't know anything.

ArchiteuthisDux
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Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:02 am

Re: Family member with almost no retirement savings or assets, what to do?

Post by ArchiteuthisDux » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:03 am

If your uncle is living in senior housing, he probably has access to a social worker through his housing. I think Step 1 is to make sure Uncle is signed up for every single benefit he can possibly get. As a disabled person, he may qualify for Medicaid or for a Medicare subsidy even though his income is on the high side for this. If he's not eligible now, he may be when he turns 65, depending on the outcome of the worker's comp suit. If his disability significantly affects his mobility he may be eligible for some food programs like Meals on Wheels. He may be eligible for lower rates on utility bills. His insurance may cover something like Silver Sneakers which would give him free or discounted access to a gym to do PT exercises. When his expenses track his income so closely, it's important to shave off as much margin as he can.

I would definitely not recommend that a disabled older person leave a subsidized housing program in a HCOL area where they have family and connections to move to a LCOL area where they do not have those things. Having a robust social network you can draw on is a huge, priceless benefit when you're elderly. And if you've got housing covered, even HCOL areas can be surprisingly affordable. If you have enough money to live in a well maintained elevator building and you can navigate the stairs to the subway, Manhattan is one of the best places in the country to be an old person.

Working when he's on SSDI is tricky since you lose SSDI and Medicare at an income point well below what would be required to replace them. He may want to look into bartering work or doing volunteer work at a place that would provide a meal or something along those lines.

Topic Author
theducklives
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Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2019 8:17 pm

Re: Family member with almost no retirement savings or assets, what to do?

Post by theducklives » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:24 pm

Thanks all for the input. Very good insights.

Lalamimi
Posts: 182
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:22 pm

Re: Family member with almost no retirement savings or assets, what to do?

Post by Lalamimi » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:38 pm

If he can work part time, try Walgreens. Friend older than him on disability loves working for them. Guessing not in an alimony state...
Not a Veteran? Get all family members together, assign them a job - buy him groceries once a month, take food. Service his car. Dr visits. etc. For 3 months, or some reasonable deadline. This will give him family contact and allow to save a bit. If family won't step up, might show him there is no reason to live near by just because they are there.

fru-gal
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Location: New England

Re: Family member with almost no retirement savings or assets, what to do?

Post by fru-gal » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:40 pm

Spirit Rider wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:00 am
OP, ignore the miserly cadre minority of Bogleheads on the car. They are in a competition and humble brag of how little they can spend on transportation.

Your uncle should not sell his car and buy something really cheap. He has had all of these surgeries and may need more and he is a senior citizen. He needs good reliable transportation that will last him several years. He has already received a blow to his life, he needs something to hang onto. Not to mention, he will probably take a bath downgrading so very little. It is not like he spent $25K - $30K+. Despite the protests of the cadre, $10K is an entirely reasonable amount for a vehicle in his circumstances.
Exactly so. Also did the right thing finding low cost housing. If he is frugal, he should be fine.

smectym
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Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 5:07 pm

Re: Family member with almost no retirement savings or assets, what to do?

Post by smectym » Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:31 am

Spirit Rider wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:00 am
OP, ignore the miserly cadre minority of Bogleheads on the car. They are in a competition and humble brag of how little they can spend on transportation.

Your uncle should not sell his car and buy something really cheap. He has had all of these surgeries and may need more and he is a senior citizen. He needs good reliable transportation that will last him several years. He has already received a blow to his life, he needs something to hang onto. Not to mention, he will probably take a bath downgrading so very little. It is not like he spent $25K - $30K+. Despite the protests of the cadre, $10K is an entirely reasonable amount for a vehicle in his circumstances.
Spiritrider, agree in substance; also, everyone is trying to be helpful, but the tone of several posts has been a bit finger-wagging. The 61-year-old uncle is in the fix he’s in, and doesn’t need to be barked at (“Work!”) or reflexively shamed for presuming to live in a HCOL area when the best he’s entitled to is LCOL. Of course, any rough edges are unintentional, and don’t negate the valuable advice being dispensed

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