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How do you account for care for your parent(s) in your FIREcalc?
Old 01-29-2018, 09:35 PM   #1
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How do you account for care for your parent(s) in your FIREcalc?

I am in my final stretch toward FIRE within the next 7 years if I do not include variables relating to caring for my mother. She moved in with us after my father passed 2 years ago, and has been able to live off less than her SS income, and has other assets for use for some eventual nursing home care (if needed). She is currently 78, and her parents lived to be in their late 80's.
My current plan is to pay off our mortgage prior to retirement and continue to live in our current home with a handicap accessible apartment for us to provided "assisted living" for my mother a long as possible.
We have obtained updated wills, powers of attorney, health care proxy etc for my mother (and my husband and I)
My questions: How large of "cushion" should I consider having in my retirement calculations for possible need to provide other support?
What are other variables I should consider before "pulling the plug" on my income?

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Old 01-29-2018, 09:44 PM   #2
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This is totally a personal decision. If your mom has other assets to use for nursing home care, you could probably get her into a nursing home as a private pay patient, and if she outlived her assets, she could then go on Medicaid. If this occurs, you might want to help her out with some incidental expenses, but her nursing home and medical care should be largely covered.

We are not setting aside money in our budget for parental care. Parents are not wealthy but have sufficient assets/income to provide for themselves.

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Old 01-29-2018, 09:56 PM   #3
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It's an interesting question, and one I probably should have considered more before retiring. My mother is in memory care, paid for by my deceased father's small pension and Medicaid. In theory she's good financially, assuming nothing changes in Medicaid. In-laws are supposedly solid financially, but they play things pretty close to the vest, so it's hard to be sure.

No idea about the number, though. I'm not sure how I'd deal with a family need that I'd feel obligated to handle, especially a six figure annual memory care facility cost that would eat away at a healthy part of my redundancy plans.

You seem to in a place where the expenses are not likely to affect you, other than costs to set up your place as you describe.
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Old 01-29-2018, 10:04 PM   #4
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There's not enough info there for me to give a full answer to your specifics... but here's what we did.

My side. Both parents passed relatively young - Dad at age 77, mom at age 67. We did not need to care for them. My dad got married (well, domestic partnership) with my step mom after my mom passed. She's in assisted living - and I visit often. She has adult kids of her own, and plenty of assets so no planning there. One of her daughters has all the POA, Medical POA, etc. Same daughter is also her primary helper/visiter. (Lives local and likes hanging with mom.)

DH's side: FIL was wheelchair bound after surgery for a broken hip left him with stroke like symptoms (aphasia on the brain?). MIL cared for him - but it was getting to be too much for her. We built a handicap accessible detached granny flat in our backyard and they live part time with us for 7 or so years. Half of the year she lived in their home near my SIL. Unfortunately, MIL never liked CA and she refused to come back on the 8th year. MIL was already showing signs of dementia - early signs. At her home, SIL was visiting daily but care for FIL was slipping due to MILs dementia. Adult protective services got involved after a hospital visit... guardianship was granted to DH for both MIL and FIL. FIL was moved to a nursing home and died a year later at age 90. MIL, despite the dementia, was able to live in her home for another 2 years, with SIL providing daily visits and support with stuff like groceries. MIL moved to a memory unit about 2 years ago. She's 91 now. She had some savings and the proceeds from her house give her enough of a financial cushion that she's good for another few years of memory unit. About 25% of the cost is covered by her pension and SS.

Our granny flat now provides us rental income... which is very nice in our retirement. (We never charged the ILs rent)

We have not put $$ towards MIL's care since she still has assets to be spent down. But there will likely not be a lot of inheritance... and that's fine. If she does outlive her savings then we'll figure it out. There are 6 kids - but not all have the means to contribute to their mother's bills. We'll pay our share as needed if it comes to that.
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Old 01-30-2018, 07:12 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by sassnco View Post
My questions: How large of "cushion" should I consider having in my retirement calculations for possible need to provide other support?
What are other variables I should consider before "pulling the plug" on my income?
I'm in the same position since my brother's serious stroke; he could live another 20 years.

I think you need to do a best and worst case scenario on costs. Every part of the country has different costs of support and varying levels of care.

Realize that allowing mom to eventually slide into Medicaid might be your best avenue especially if dementia/Alzheimers creeps into the picture (i.e. sadly --but realistically-- she won't know the difference). Then you can fill in the gaps with moderate expense on your part.

In my brother's case, he'll be fine financially and we've set up a trust for him in case both myself and DW were to pass on. He has no relatives other than us.

He currently lives at his home with support from a PCA but the day will come when he'll need to go to assisted living of some sort. I keep blocking that idea from my mind for now.
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