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Are you figuring in the cost of taking care of an aging parent or spouse?
Old 04-25-2017, 05:33 PM   #1
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Are you figuring in the cost of taking care of an aging parent or spouse?

I've become more aware of this lately because my mother-in-law and her husband did not prepare well for retirement. They spent almost everything and "retired" early by taking early SS and getting a reverse mortgage. He has passed now and she is living off social security but she will not have more than 6 months in a nursing facility until her savings runs out, when she faces a health crisis. At 74 this is in her future.

So then what happens? If her health is bad, she spends down everything and gets partial Medicaid. But if she recovers enough to go home but not enough to pay for help to take care of her? Then we have a huge moral dilemma. Pay for her care at the risk of our retirement?

So then I'm looking at this for my husband and I. We are both 52. Let's say he gets really sick or injured, goes into a facility and lives many more years draining all our money. Then I would have nothing to live off of aside from a survivor pension. Am I missing something?

How are you anticipating handling a situation like this? Would you divorce a spouse in this situation? We have term life insurance but the term will end in the next ten years.
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Old 04-25-2017, 05:47 PM   #2
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If you MIL has no one to take care of her and no $ to pay for home care she will have to go to a facility and stay there. This happened to a friend of mine because due to both she and her husband having long, expensive illnesses their $ did not last forever. Then he got cancer and when he needed to be taken care of which she could not do due to early onset Alzheimer's she had to go to a home. Normally she was not bad enough for a home but had no choice with no where else to go. Her husband went to stay with his son until he died a few months later. For a spouse they let you keep more $ then they did 40 years ago but not sure how much. That was one reason my Mom kept my DAd home for 14 years after a bad stroke because she would not have had enough $ to live on. I think some of the laws were changed because of these types of situations.
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Old 04-25-2017, 06:31 PM   #3
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I've promised to pay all expenses for my mother if she runs out. Currently close to 92 with about 6 more years of funds remaining. Will cost me about $90k per year if necessary.
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Old 04-25-2017, 06:40 PM   #4
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No they are dead on both side. But I will take care of my husband as best as I could, same with him to me. Most likely I will be the care taker because I'm the younger spouse.
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Old 04-25-2017, 07:12 PM   #5
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Yes, my mom's place was around $65K a year when she died in 2012 at 96. And that was in a low COL area.
It's just one of those things you have to plan for.

I was lucky in comparison to a friend whose mother became bedridden and mildly demented at age 95 and lasted until she was 103.
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Old 04-25-2017, 07:16 PM   #6
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Well that is sad to be bedridden for so long. My dad was bedridden for 2 years at most. But it was still sad.
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Are you figuring in the cost of taking care of an aging parent or spouse?
Old 04-25-2017, 07:24 PM   #7
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Are you figuring in the cost of taking care of an aging parent or spouse?

No to the parents. All four spent from five months to more than three years in nursing homes before they died. All four paid for the full cost of their care from their moderate assets.

Yes to the spouse. We both have LTC insurance.
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i know a bit about this
Old 04-25-2017, 07:30 PM   #8
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i know a bit about this

every state is a bit different, but in a nutshell and i hope all the experts in here dont load u up with laws and such, once she goes to about 14 thousand she gets medicaid, they pay for everything, then she will no longer have to pay the part B deductible which is about 110 a month from her soc sec check, they pay all her medical bills and nursing home, then apply for food stamps, in my state its about 190 dollars, cancel her phone service and get [MOD EDIT] a free phone, if she gets well enough to go home she will qualify for home bound (called community nursing care), thats free too, then if she has too much monthly income she sets up a trust for her bills what ever they deduct from her soc sec check she will get back with her bills. things will be tight but she will live in her house till she dies, and she will have some one with her, u might have to chip in for some clothes and house taxes but thats not much . i found this all out when my mom who is currently 91 got sick when she was 89. we didnt do anything because i know my parents view on welfare, so i pay from her money 1900 a week for a 24 hour live in, 7 days a week.
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Old 04-25-2017, 08:41 PM   #9
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... then if she has too much monthly income she sets up a trust for her bills what ever they deduct from her soc sec check she will get back with her bills.....
Can you tell me more about setting up a trust for her bills. Can I do that now to get her on Medicaid?
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Old 04-25-2017, 09:20 PM   #10
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I've promised to pay all expenses for my mother if she runs out. Currently close to 92 with about 6 more years of funds remaining. Will cost me about $90k per year if necessary.
It's worth noting that you have a far higher net worth than many on this forum. That kind of expense just might not be possible for many here.

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this is from an attorney but it has the benefits and rules
Old 04-25-2017, 10:46 PM   #11
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this is from an attorney but it has the benefits and rules

What is a Pooled Trust? | New York Estate Administration Attorneys its called a pooled trust i think 17 states have this rule
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Old 04-26-2017, 05:26 AM   #12
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My parents are at a nice assisted living facility, but required an extra VA program to pay the bills. Otherwise they would be at a lesser place. I used to be impressed with their pensions/SS - now, not so much.

For us, we'd rather live our final years in Mexico. Amazing care, 3 meals a day, $900-2000/month. That's just in the expat area we prefer. I'm sure there are many areas that would be cheaper. Or other countries, even.
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Old 04-26-2017, 05:54 AM   #13
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but in a nutshell and i hope all the experts in here dont load u up with laws and such,
With all due respect, this is one area where laws and such make a big difference, and each state has its own regulatory system. So advice here needs to consider the laws of location and specific circumstances of the OP and should be reinforced with elder care legal advice.
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Old 04-26-2017, 08:15 AM   #14
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My parents are at a nice assisted living facility, but required an extra VA program to pay the bills. Otherwise they would be at a lesser place. I used to be impressed with their pensions/SS - now, not so much.

For us, we'd rather live our final years in Mexico. Amazing care, 3 meals a day, $900-2000/month. That's just in the expat area we prefer. I'm sure there are many areas that would be cheaper. Or other countries, even.
This sounds interesting...hmmm
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Old 04-26-2017, 08:35 AM   #15
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I highly, highly recommend contacting a certified ElderLaw Attorney. Arm yourself with every question and scenario you're can conjure up and spend an hour or two going down the list. I covered the list for my DM's situation for $260 (45 minutes) and I was extremely satisfied with his service.

In my case it helped me set up a financial timeline for when certain medicaid, VA and other legal issues come into play for my DM. Barring a medical event, it gave me about 4 years of breathing room with her finances before we spend down and develop a Miller Trust. She's 87 and in independent living.

BTW, this should be part of the pre-planning and never wait until an 'event' forces you into a decision you're not prepared to make. My attorney said he spends over half his time trying to correct legal errors that people made because they did not ask in advance. Sounds like you're at the early planning stage and that's perfect timing.

Good luck..
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Old 04-26-2017, 08:46 AM   #16
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I've become more aware of this lately because my mother-in-law and her husband did not prepare well for retirement. They spent almost everything and "retired" early by taking early SS and getting a reverse mortgage. He has passed now and she is living off social security but she will not have more than 6 months in a nursing facility until her savings runs out, when she faces a health crisis. At 74 this is in her future.

So then what happens? If her health is bad, she spends down everything and gets partial Medicaid. But if she recovers enough to go home but not enough to pay for help to take care of her? Then we have a huge moral dilemma. Pay for her care at the risk of our retirement?

So then I'm looking at this for my husband and I. We are both 52. Let's say he gets really sick or injured, goes into a facility and lives many more years draining all our money. Then I would have nothing to live off of aside from a survivor pension. Am I missing something?

How are you anticipating handling a situation like this? Would you divorce a spouse in this situation? We have term life insurance but the term will end in the next ten years.
Because we are going through something similar, my thoughts on how to handle this are as follows: place your MIL in a facility that has several ranges of care, from Independent Living straight through skilled nursing home care. The facility needs to be one that will not kick your MIL out after she runs out of money. She would be a private pay to begin with, say at the Independent Living level and could graduate to Assisted Living in the same facility even though her funds have run out. We are currently looking at such facilities for my mother who just turned 92. In fact we have an appointment at one such facility this morning. My way of identifying such facilities was to speak with a local representative of "A Place for Mom" who gave me the particulars on facilities in my area. So far I have visited one, another one today and I have spoken with about five others. The rep from "A Place fore Mom"(http://locate.aplaceformom.com/?&kw=...D=kwd-18558071) gave my name (with my permission) to all of these facilities and they each called within 24 hours. This nation wide web service has local associates all over the country. You pay no fee. I also contacted our local agency on aging and received a complete list of all facilities in my county.

My mother's situation is that she has about $400,000 in investments and a home worth about $125,000, so a little over $500,000. She also has income of about $22,000 a year not including investment income of roughly $15,000, which would increase if and when the house is sold and the proceeds invested. In a nut shell not all facilities are created equal. Some are more than she can afford and are "country clubs", and others are very inferior. (To the OP, the key is to find a facility that she afford for the period of time that the facility requires private pay.) Still others are in between and that is the type of facility we are seeking, very nice with many amenities, nice living quarters, good food, many activities and quality staff. She can cover the cost of Independent Living at such a facility, probably without even dipping into her principal, but my main concern is her outliving her money once she requires more extensive assistance. The moment she moves into Assisted Living, the costs rise exponentially to about $85,000 per year. That would shorten the time span where she could be private pay dramatically. Soooooo - we need to find a place that is private pay initially but accepts transition to medicaid, if and when necessary.
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Old 04-26-2017, 08:54 AM   #17
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I've promised to pay all expenses for my mother if she runs out. Currently close to 92 with about 6 more years of funds remaining. Will cost me about $90k per year if necessary.
I did the same for my father, currently 99 and only 50-60 years of funds remaining.
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Old 04-26-2017, 09:06 AM   #18
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She has only 50,000 in assets, maybe 100,000 equity in her home and we live in a high COL state. With a monthly SS income of just over $2000.

We want to try and keep her in her home as long as possible but with her health (not good-shes 77), a small fall and she could end up in a facility. Many multistage care homes in our area require a large amount of assets before "buying" in. And we certainly wouldn't cosign.

We are also considering hiring an unskilled companion live-in in the future.

What is just so frustrating is that we tried to talk to them years ago but her husband didn't want to. ugh

PS-We aren't looking for any inheritance, just trying to figure out how to get as much social services as she can and preserve our hard earned retirement money.
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Old 04-26-2017, 09:18 AM   #19
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So then I'm looking at this for my husband and I. We are both 52. Let's say he gets really sick or injured, goes into a facility and lives many more years draining all our money. Then I would have nothing to live off of aside from a survivor pension. Am I missing something?

How are you anticipating handling a situation like this? Would you divorce a spouse in this situation? We have term life insurance but the term will end in the next ten years.
This is something you should ask an Eldercare attorney but my understanding is that if the divorce was less than 5 years ago it falls into the Medicaid "look-back" period and is ignored for purposes of determining Medicaid eligibility for 5 years. DH and I discussed getting a divorce on paper because he was 15 years older but we never could make ourselves do it. He died last year at age 78, less than 6 months after a diagnosis of Acute Myeloid Leukemia. I can tell you I'll never marry again unless the guy has enough bucks to fund his own LTC under a worst-case scenario.

As far as parents- I'm very fortunate. I learned how to save and invest from Dad. Mom died last year (a month before DH) and he moved into a Independent Living community that he likes, and got more for the house he sold than he expected. I'd guess he's got about $500K right now and he's 86. Whatever is left after he's gone will be split with my 4 siblings and none of us cares if it's zero.

Similarly- my biggest financial objective is to be able to fund my own care when I'm too frail to do things for myself, so that DS and DDIL aren't forced into it.
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Old 04-26-2017, 09:34 AM   #20
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She has only 50,000 in assets, maybe 100,000 equity in her home and we live in a high COL state. With a monthly SS income of just over $2000.

We want to try and keep her in her home as long as possible but with her health (not good-shes 77), a small fall and she could end up in a facility. Many multistage care homes in our area require a large amount of assets before "buying" in. And we certainly wouldn't cosign.

We are also considering hiring an unskilled companion live-in in the future.

What is just so frustrating is that we tried to talk to them years ago but her husband didn't want to. ugh

PS-We aren't looking for any inheritance, just trying to figure out how to get as much social services as she can and preserve our hard earned retirement money.
Not all facilities are "buy in". The only way you will know is if you request the information. Do her living expenses exceed her current assets? If she can live on the $2,000 then her assets will not erode further, thus postponing the need to do something now.
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