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Old 06-19-2012, 08:22 PM   #81
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My mother is certainly consuming her share of healthcare now that she is 86. I don't have to worry about her paying for care, but I do worry about her living alone. She's recently had cataract surgery, laser ablation on the retina in her other eye. She's on medications for high blood pressure, diabetes and low thyroxine and goes to the clinic once a month to have blood tests to see if they need adjusting. Two years ago she had a small TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack) or mini-stroke, but has recovered well. However, month ago she fell on a step in the kitchen. Her doctor checked her out and she was fine, but he gave her a really good prescription. He got the council to install a hand rail so she wouldn't fall again.

I worry that I'm not around to do that sort of thing for her and I'm trying to get her to move somewhere with less steps, but she won't move, so it looks like I'll have to move near her so she can stay in the house and has someone to do stuff for her.
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:32 PM   #82
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My mother is certainly consuming her share of healthcare now that she is 86. I don't have to worry about her paying for care, but I do worry about her living alone. She's recently had cataract surgery, laser ablation on the retina in her other eye. She's on medications for high blood pressure, diabetes and low thyroxine and goes to the clinic once a month to have blood tests to see if they need adjusting. Two years ago she had a small TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack) or mini-stroke, but has recovered well. However, month ago she fell on a step in the kitchen. Her doctor checked her out and she was fine, but he gave her a really good prescription. He got the council to install a hand rail so she wouldn't fall again.

I worry that I'm not around to do that sort of thing for her and I'm trying to get her to move somewhere with less steps, but she won't move, so it looks like I'll have to move near her so she can stay in the house and has someone to do stuff for her.
She must be a great mom to have someone love her and worry about her so much. I think you are lucky to have each other.
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:08 PM   #83
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If this was a situation that involved me, I would make any payments directly to the health care providers and NOT sign any documents assuming financial liability.
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:14 PM   #84
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If this was a situation that involved me, I would make any payments directly to the health care providers and NOT sign any documents assuming financial liability.

This is one of the key notes - whether it is with the health care providers, insurance companies, nursing homes, etc. - be careful what you sign about financial liability...

We cared for my mother and my aunt for almost 10 years and was advised early to be wary of this - bill collectors for all avenues tried to collect what medicare, insurance, etc. did not pay after they passed. They wanted part of the non-existent estates... and were very hard pressed on collecting whatever they could get.

Now if the person will leave a large estate then it needs to be handled differently and you should seek advice.
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Old 06-20-2012, 09:44 PM   #85
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My quick reaction (automated answer for family asking for money) would be a flat out hell no. After getting around to think about the situation and putting myself in the other person's shoes (what if it was your mom) I would most likely comply with several rules.
I will NOT co-sign, period. I have seen what happens most of the time to co-signers and it ain't pretty. If it will set me back a considerable amount of time (3-6 months) it will only be a one-time thing. Next time around if more help is needed it will not be in the form of financial rescue. Everyone has to clean up their s***, not expect someone else to. Before handing out the money I want reassurance (sp?) that the money will have a good chance of improving the life expectancy of the MIL while mantaining a decent (for the condition) quality of life. Otherwise, I would be willing to help with my time, but not going to shell out money for a 10% chance of 2 more months...
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:29 PM   #86
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We've cut my MIL off and my wife agrees. She has health problems, not cancer, just ongoing diabete, COPD, etc. She inherited half a million from my wife's grandmother, took her pension earlier as soon as she cashed out all the stocks, etc. and spent it all. she was a bad mother and is generally selfish. She's given us a few bucks over the years, but my wife got more from her aunt after grandma's death than her mom even though my wife spent the last years of her grandma's life visiting her, taking her to doctor's appointments, etc. while MIL did nothing.

Back further, the woman has wished death on my wife, the worst being after my DW's brother drowned 25 years back when she said it should have been my wife that died on the way to the lake he drowned in before they even found his body. I could go on. This woman deserves what she gets. We both feel she made her bed and she can lie in it.

It's a personal decision. We have reason, good reason, to cast off my MIL. She hasn't taken care of her body in any way, shape or form, but that's not why. She's a poor human being and hasn't earned our help. Popping out a baby one day is not a ticket to a free ride. If it were just her health, but otherwise my MIL was a good mom/person, I'd probably help her out.

YMMV. No matter who earned the money (you both did in your own way), your wife has some say about what happens to it. Personally, I'd ask other family to help out, a few hundred here and few there. I'd help her find charity or government programs that might help. Seems the right thing to do. I understand not wanting to give up your money, but how will you feel if you don't help and she dies long before her time or with a lot of pain and suffering. How would your wife feel?

Tough situation and I don't envy you. Even in my wifes' situation and her mother's poor behavior from my wife's childhood on, it took my wife many years to finally decide cutting her off was the right thing for us. Good luck.
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Old 06-21-2012, 06:52 AM   #87
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The situation and the opinions on this thread could equally be applied to Germany and Greece.
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Old 06-21-2012, 06:59 AM   #88
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Everyone has to clean up their s***, not expect someone else to.
I agree with this.........but equally, we should also be willing to help someone without requiring anything in return.......it's the act of helping that is the reward.

In the ideal situation the person in trouble and the person helping are working together and the problem gets solved all the sooner.
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Old 06-21-2012, 07:07 AM   #89
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I had similar situation a couple of years ago with a sister in law badly needing money due to bad life choices. I did not give any money, but helped her wherever I could with things like moving to a smaller house and decorating. And I felt very happy about that. Than I had another situation like this where it was more or less a matter of life and death and I realized that not helping was in fact out of the question. So I did spend the money and it helped save the life. Helping people who are in trouble made me feel good, even if they are in the situation due to there own fault. Make sure though that it is a gift, not a loan. And don't expect anything back. That way you can only get positive surprises!
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Old 06-21-2012, 07:59 AM   #90
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We've cut my MIL off and my wife agrees.... This woman deserves what she gets. We both feel she made her bed and she can lie in it.
Galatians 6:7-10

I agree with your/DW's decision (been there, done that).
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:38 AM   #91
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This thread really got to me. I have experienced some of this already and fear that I will experience much more in the future as my wife's family gets older and stops working. In just eight days, my wife is taking a trip to Nassau with my daughter, a niece and her adult daughter. The niece is 52 and in my opinion has no business taking a vacation at all (considering her financial situation). I have watched as this niece has lived beyond her means for decades. While I drove my cars forever, this niece chose to lease new cars every three years. Then her "sugar daddy" dropped out of the picture and her financial outlook went from bad to worse. I am still pissed about the vacation because I was not consulted before hand and my wife charged the airfares for everyone going to our credit card. (We are also picking up the hotel costs via our timeshare) I haven't had the guts to ask my wife if we are going to get reimbursed for the airfares.

I know that under these circumstance I lack the moral authority to make suggestions, but I told that story to let you know that I really, really feel your situation. I would recommend that a family meeting be convened to address the $5K shortfall. First of all, $10 per day for 365 days comes to $3,650 which is about 3/4 of the way there. Where does the rest of the MIL's monthly social security check go?? Can't she cough up some of that? How about the MIL's other children? Why can't everyone be inconvenienced? $100 per month from each of the three siblings and the rest from the MIL.
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Old 06-22-2012, 01:23 PM   #92
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There are a lot of family dynamics involved when during a family pow-wow. I've been to a few pow-wows in my own family. One person's view of the right approach may not mesh with the view of another. But at the very least, that is where one's voice can be heard.
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Old 06-22-2012, 01:49 PM   #93
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I find this discussion fascinating. I think that what a lot of people here a missing is that people are different. I have long wondered if I am mildly sociopathic. I have compassion in the sense of "I am sorry that you are in this situation," and have helped out friends and family in need where i perceive that the problems were reasonably uncontrollable/unforeseeable and did not represent a material sacrifice to me. However, I have never felt the need (at all) to sacrifice more than the person who is in trouble, and have ignored those who are unwilling to help themselves and want me to instead, or who need help that represents a material sacrifice. It does not bother me (at all) when I choose not to help out, for whatever reason. I admit that it does generally make me feel good when I do help someone.

I wonder this indicates a lack of something that is present in most people, as I am clearly not the norm. However, it is how I am. I cannot change this and do not have any desire to do so.

My point is, people are different. Some people would feel guilty for the rest of their life if they did not help. They should help. Others would resent it the rest of their life if they helped. They probably should not help. People should do what if best for them. Research has clearly shown that charitable people are charitable because it makes themselves feel good. Don't project this onto people where this is not true.

Edit:

I will add that I am hosting my 10 yo nephew this week. He has a cell phone with a data plan and no heath insurance. I do not have a data plan, but I do have health insurance. Would I help them out in a medical emergency? Maybe the son, but not the parents. Would I pony up $1M for a catastrophic medical emergency for the nephew? I have the $1M, and I seriously doubt I would spend it that way.
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Old 06-22-2012, 02:40 PM   #94
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My take is, what an unfortunate situation. From my experience and observations the person being helped, will in the end neither appreciate the help or change their behaviors, so helping is essentially facilitating poor behavior. The person has made her choice(s) and now must face the consequences, it isn't your job to financially help her out. If you so desire to do so, that is your choice.
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Old 06-22-2012, 04:16 PM   #95
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I have no problem helping those who have made an earnest attempt to help themselves but are in a predicament due to bad luck, wrong place/wrong time or whatever. However, I have much less sympathy for those who are in a predicament as a result of their own bad decisions.
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Old 06-22-2012, 05:34 PM   #96
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This is your MIL. How could you even entertain not helping her if your wife thinks she deserves it? The money is not all yours. Your wife can decide how it is spent. Your wife sounds like a saint. Please hold her close. A person that's willing to take a part time job to help her mother, has my admiration. We are human beings and sometimes make bad decisions, the consequences of which we sometimes cannot shake. Don't judge your MIL. Love her and support her.
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Old 06-22-2012, 05:58 PM   #97
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This thread made me think of my inlaws, who lived into their late 80s and mid 90s,and were financially solvent for their final years' care although they were of the generation that smoked and drank a lot (FIL right up to the end). Their eldest child recognized that they needed guidance and helped them through signing up for medicare, LTC insurance, etc., and getting their affairs into a trust.

But circumstances are different for everyone, and if DH's parents had needed financial help, the kids and spouses would have stepped up to the plate and not begrudged it.

We miss them.
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Old 06-22-2012, 06:39 PM   #98
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Boy, am I glad I live in Europe. A relative in a similar situation would get >90% of the care that the American lady is getting here (I doubt if all the bells and whistles of the US system add more than a couple of weeks at the back end to the life of a cancer sufferer, compared to, say, France or Italy), and nobody would have to make these awful moral choices.
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Old 06-22-2012, 09:28 PM   #99
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This is your MIL. How could you even entertain not helping her if your wife thinks she deserves it? The money is not all yours. Your wife can decide how it is spent. Your wife sounds like a saint. Please hold her close. A person that's willing to take a part time job to help her mother, has my admiration. We are human beings and sometimes make bad decisions, the consequences of which we sometimes cannot shake. Don't judge your MIL. Love her and support her.
I agree with the our money, but you do have to be fair. My wife and I had one instance in our life so far where we could not come to an agreement on a significant financial decision ($35,000 cost). It was our money, so I told her since we could not come to an agreement, she was welcome to make the decision on her own, and I would never bring it up again. However, I told her that I in turn was going to purchase the $11,000 KTM motorcycle (Enduro 690) that I had always wanted but was too tight to purchase. She spent, and so did I. Neither one of us are sore about what happened, as it truly is our money [she did come out $24,000 ahead :-)].

If your treat the money as ours and one is willing to spend, and the other is not, that means all the money effectively belongs to the one who is willing to spend.
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Old 06-23-2012, 12:16 AM   #100
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Is there some way you can structure your financial assistance to MIL as a loan?
There is no such thing as a loan to family. Either it's a gift or it's something entirely different when (as is likely) it isn't repaid. I won't "lend" anything to any family member and expect repayment. It usually often isn't repaid (for whatever reason) and almost always ruins relationships. Any such transfers must be with money you never expect to see again.

That said, I'd help. I think I did twice.
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