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Endgame
Old 10-22-2006, 03:24 PM   #1
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Endgame

Most of us are prepared to handle our own financial affairs for as long as we can. But what then? I have been wondering about this in an unfocused way and would like your comments.

My sister handled my father's finances for the last 10-15 years of his life. He was mentally able most of that time, but his vision failed (this gives me the heebie-jeebies). His assets were simple by then and he had his taxes done for him (not well all the time, it turned out, but my sister fixed that). My sister lived relatively near by and was a hero for all that she did. I remember vividly that there were many folks in the retirement home who never had visitors, whose families were far away or estranged or none. I wondered who took care of them.

Looking forward, it is very likely that my wife and I may be very far (perhaps VERY, VERY far) from our children when we cannot live independently anymore. They may move around, too, so it may not be reasonable to assume that we can be nearby when our wheels come off.

How would one plan for this case? I can think of some possibilities from family experiences, but they have all been easy situations (helpful children, honest family friend, etc.).

I suppose that it comes down to relying on family, eventually.

But what if you can't?

Your comments, please?

Ed

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Re: Endgame
Old 10-22-2006, 03:32 PM   #2
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Re: Endgame

I just found this thread which seems very pertinent:

http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...16.0;topicseen

I should mention that I was thinking about the money; how to ensure that it does not go astray when we get dotty.

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Re: Endgame
Old 10-22-2006, 03:36 PM   #3
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Re: Endgame

My folks were in a retirement community in Florida for the last 5 years of their lives and my 4 sisters and I noticed independently that my folks seemed to get better (more personal) care than other residents. We attribuited the better care to the fact that one or more of us visited them often, but or an irregular schedule ( not always on weekends, for a few days at a time, always asking questions of the staff, thanking the staff personally for doing their job).

I knew of several of the retirees who were from Wisconsin and Michigan and they never got a visitor.
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Re: Endgame
Old 10-22-2006, 03:55 PM   #4
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Re: Endgame

On a lark, DW and I attended a one hour seminar on elder law and life care management given at our library. The presenters were an attorney specializing in trusts, wills, estate planning, POA's, etc., and a business manager representing her firm which specializes in managing life affairs for folks with mental impairments, the disabled or the elderly.

Taken at their word, they would have you believe that you can purchase the services normally provided by family to help you along after "the wheels fall off."

www.surrogateguardian.com

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Re: Endgame
Old 10-22-2006, 04:08 PM   #5
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Re: Endgame

We have concerns about this, given we have no children.

Currently, a friend of ours has a power of attorney. He is bit younger than we are and extremely trustworthy. But as years go by, he may not be suitable anymore. Unfortunately, at the present time our relatives are out of the question.
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Re: Endgame
Old 10-22-2006, 04:10 PM   #6
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Re: Endgame

Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyd
my 4 sisters and I noticed independently that my folks seemed to get better (more personal) care than other residents.
If you don't mind sharing the information, were your folks private pay or medicaid patients? We keep hearing alarming rumors that, despite the fact it isn't supposed to be this way, private pay patients receive "better" care than the medicaid patients and are given preferential treatment for admissions.
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Re: Endgame
Old 10-22-2006, 04:24 PM   #7
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Re: Endgame

Quote:
were your folks private pay or medicaid patients?
They were in a pretty upscale place, so I doubt that there were any medicare folks rolling around.
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Re: Endgame
Old 10-22-2006, 05:05 PM   #8
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Re: Endgame

This is a real issue for a lot of people. My parents are in luck because 3 if their 4 kids are nearby, and the 4th is only 4 hours away. My in-laws have one daughter nearby, plus they are well aware that we would happily fly in as necessary, and both the in-laws and muy parents already have me advising them. For us, I have friends and family set up as guardians fotr teh kids, etc., but I am not sure who I would have manage my money if I went bananas. DW has a set of instructions if I buy the farm prematurely.

I bet that if I set up a business to be a guardian of the elderly on a strictly ethical basis, I would be beating off cliebts with a stick.
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Re: Endgame
Old 10-22-2006, 05:18 PM   #9
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Re: Endgame

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
I bet that if I set up a business to be a guardian of the elderly on a strictly ethical basis, I would be beating off cliebts with a stick.
Did you look at the web site I posted? Whatdaya think?
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Re: Endgame
Old 10-23-2006, 07:21 AM   #10
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Re: Endgame

surrogateguardian seems to be limited to Illinois. Clearly their services involve visits to the nursing home. Their hourly rates look reasonable. They appear to interface with social workers, which may reduce their billable workload.

I wonder what their patient-to-staff ratio is? The staff must be paid and the money must come from the clients. Perhaps they use contractors, which would reduce the overhead in slack times.

I sometimes wondered about starting such a business when my folks were in their nursing home with the idea that it would be a part-time thing and therefore eliminating the pressure to churn accounts so that I could pay my bills. We lived too far away for that to be practical, though.

My wife and I looked briefly into establishing a small private nursing home on her parents' property with them as the first tenants. (A friend of my father did exactly that for his parents. He was a partner in a small nursing home.) The minimum economic size was more than we could reasonably raise money to build, even eliminating the cost of the property. At the time, we were scouting around the area for an assisted-living home for her parents and wrote down everything we learned about the business and put costs to it. My mother was a nurse in a nursing home and we also learned from her. We found many ethical people and nursing homes in their area, but we have heard the horror stories, notably in places like Texas.
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Re: Endgame
Old 10-23-2006, 07:24 AM   #11
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Re: Endgame

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy
but we have heard the horror stories, notably in places like Texas.
I must defend my adopted home. There are horror stories everywhere.
I can assure you of that.

JG
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Re: Endgame
Old 10-23-2006, 01:10 PM   #12
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Re: Endgame

There is a push to put small assisted living facilities in "outstate" or rural Minnesota. I think it is a wonderful idea. Some cheap money is available for loans to establish these facilities in small towns. Our office is working on a few of them now.
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Re: Endgame
Old 10-23-2006, 01:31 PM   #13
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Re: Endgame

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
There is a push to put small assisted living facilities in "outstate" or rural Minnesota.Our office is working on a few of them now.
Is that for clients, or for attorneys that they are putting out to pasture ?
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Re: Endgame
Old 10-23-2006, 01:45 PM   #14
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Re: Endgame

:P
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Re: Endgame
Old 10-23-2006, 01:47 PM   #15
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Re: Endgame

My mother was in a nursing home in Wisconsin. My sister was guardian of her finances, and I was guardian of her person. We had to be approved by a court to do that. The alternative was a court-appointed "professional" guardian. My brother and uncle lived there and visited often. I am in TX and my sister is in NY. We visited sporadically. Staff there gave her better treatment than those who never had visitors. We also made sure the staff got candy from mom whenever we visited. When she was on BCBS, she was in a better room than when that ran out and she went on medicare. We had to spend down her assets to pay the cost over what insurance would pay...including selling her house (which she hadn't lived in the last 3 years). I saw no difference in the care she got relative to the funding source. It might have been different if she'd had to go on medicaid (state pays), but she didn't. I do think the employees up there, who took care of her, deserve a special place in Heaven.
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Re: Endgame
Old 10-23-2006, 08:14 PM   #16
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Re: Endgame

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
There is a push to put small assisted living facilities in "outstate" or rural Minnesota. I think it is a wonderful idea. Some cheap money is available for loans to establish these facilities in small towns. Our office is working on a few of them now.
Martha,

That was what we had in mind.
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Re: Endgame
Old 10-23-2006, 08:38 PM   #17
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Re: Endgame

It definitely helps to have loving and mature children. Still, other relationships can help a lot. My parents both spent almost 4 years in assisted living, in a very nice place. There are 4 kids- we visited often, and always took donuts or pizza or a box of candy for the staff when we went by. We also inquired politely but assertively about anything that looked like it should be fixed.

Also, they had made friends independently with many younger people over the years, mainly by always having beer and sandwiches and conversation available for anyone who dropped by.

Another thing is that they had a lifelong good attorney who for a very reasonable amount of money had an office that rode herd on billing, care, etc.

The last thing is church membership and regular attendance. Nothing is certain, but some of these relationships will still be there for you when you get old and infirm. My wife works in an urban church. One morning an old lady got on the bus in her pajamas and bare feet. It happened that two of the younger women from the PJ lady’s church also were on the bus. They got off and took her home and got her settled. A year later she is still living alone in her own apartment, which would be absolutely impossible were it not that there are concerned and loving people from her church nearby.

Most of these things would not likely happen without deep roots in a community.

Ha
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