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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents
Old 01-07-2007, 09:15 AM   #21
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents

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Your curmudgeon certificate has been revoked. A prescription of anti-psychotic drugs has been called in to your local pharmacy.

ReWahoo: You're going to like this!

My wife reads this forum from time to time, and yesterday when I
posted on this thread, she was within earshot, and came over and read
my posts. "Well, I think that was a little harsh, but I'm interested in talking about your picks for today". "Maybe we can work out a wager".

I really love Chicken Caccitori, but it is a real pain for her to make it.

O.K., you take the Seahawks and the Colts, and make Chicken Caccitori
if it doesn't work out for you, and I'll take us out to dinner if it does.

So, I had to shower, shave, and drive into town for a very late dinner.

If you notice, I never tell wife jokes on this forum 8)

If anybody's interested in my picks for today, let me know. 8)



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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents
Old 01-07-2007, 09:54 AM   #22
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents

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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents
Old 01-07-2007, 11:34 AM   #23
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents

Sorry about your picks, Jarhead Congrats to your wife on making a smart deal, though

It sounds like the general consensus is that if my in-laws aren't having serious troubles now, they are likely to stay in pretty good shape (nursing homes, etc, aside). Good to know.

For now, I think we will try to keep the conversations going, and also check in on whether they've got powers of attorney, etc., especially given my father-in-law's shaky health. We recently got our documents in order, which was a nice way to start that conversation, and they were open to suggestions about what they needed to have. Haven't followed up to see that it all got done, though...

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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents
Old 01-07-2007, 11:43 AM   #24
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents

My sister and I did a sale-leaseback for our Dad, and it worked very well for him ... he stayed in his condo until he passed away, looking out on the putting green he loved, and enjoying the hot tub down the walk.

He carried back a note for his equity in the place, we paid him P&I on that note monthly, and we put new debt on the place for a 1st DOT. He paid us a market rent, and the numbers worked out fine for all of us. Sis and I enjoyed appreciation, and rental "losses" for tax purposes, and Dad was at peace in his own home.

PM me if you want help noodlin' numbers, but yes ... this can work just fine. Depends on your facts. And, done right, it is perfectly legal and proper.
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents
Old 01-07-2007, 12:55 PM   #25
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents

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Originally Posted by WM
Sorry about your picks, Jarhead Congrats to your wife on making a smart deal, though

It sounds like the general consensus is that if my in-laws aren't having serious troubles now, they are likely to stay in pretty good shape (nursing homes, etc, aside). Good to know.



WM: Good. I really doubt that your situation falls into the category
of affecting your life.

Good luck to you and your Marine husband. (I was in the Corps.
during the Korean War, so I am seriously old

You asked some questions that were of a concern to you, and I
apologize for not being sensitive to that.

Take Care.
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents
Old 01-07-2007, 01:11 PM   #26
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents

Your In-Laws sound like they have everything under control. In my experience, what messed up my MIL, like Tony Romo holding the ball, was the first time she went into the hospital, she didn't have any supplemental insurance to pay what Medicare didn't. That left her with about 4000 debt.

She got Blue Cross/Blue Shield's plan and when she passed away, all her medical bills were taken care of so I would recommend that. Otherwise, we never had to help her out financially.
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents
Old 01-07-2007, 01:51 PM   #27
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents

Quote:
Originally Posted by WM
For now, I think we will try to keep the conversations going, and also check in on whether they've got powers of attorney, etc., especially given my father-in-law's shaky health. We recently got our documents in order, which was a nice way to start that conversation, and they were open to suggestions about what they needed to have. Haven't followed up to see that it all got done, though...
Where people screw up (IMHO) with their POA is in naming only one primary (usually their spouse) and one alternate (usually a close by child). That means that when the fan and excrement meet for "Dad," "Mom" is trying to suddenly deal with everything and she is usually not much better off than "Dad" both mentally and physically. She may actually be worse but they had learned how to cover for eachother for years. The alternate POA has to not only get "Dad's" documentation but also "Mom's." (or visa versa) I can assure you that neither of them want to have their "independence" taken away by their snot-nosed kid. "Mom" also doesn't want to admit "Dad" can't be the decision maker he was for the last 58 years.

I would recommend talking with whoever does the paperwork for the in-laws POA about having the primary being one of the children. Since elder care can go on forever or even longer, I would recommend multiple backups and a provision for the ability to assign the POA to or share certain aspects with another person on the list.

My basis for the above comments is dealing with my DW's parents. Everything is a chore. She (we) do not get a break. My wife's sister can't officially do anything. She and her husband do, however, have lots of advice for what my wife can do and how she can do it. My SIL, of course, never has to execute the suggestions but she is very capable of criticizing what does get done. It would be so nice to be able to issue a notarized letter authorizing SIL to take over for the next year. DW has had a 2 year enlistment so far and I'm convinced her parents will live forever (or at least they've seemed to have already lived that long).

For "younger" couples, I don't see the need for a ladder of POA's. A younger spouse may have to deal with a debilitating disease or injury but is probably going to be in a position to deal with it. I do think that when people get into their early 60's the reality of a mutual incapacity should be higher up on the concern list.
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents
Old 01-07-2007, 11:50 PM   #28
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents

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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents
Old 01-08-2007, 07:47 AM   #29
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents

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You asked some questions that were of a concern to you, and I
apologize for not being sensitive to that.
Thanks, but there's no need to apologize. I can see why my initial post may have seemed a little ridiculous, especially given other people's generally positive experiences with their parents. At 32, I'm still young enough to be foolish, right?

What this discussion made me realize is that although DH has a lot of anxiety about his parents and their finances, his worries are based a lot more on past history than current reality.

Regarding the POA question, I did confirm with my mother-in-law yesterday that all their documents are taken care of, which was great. It seemed nosy to ask who they put down, so I didn't, but maybe I will next time. I doubt that we have much chance of influencing that at this point, but suggesting additional backup people probably can't hurt.

The supplemental insurance point is also a good one, especially given my father-in-law's health. When they have to negotiate the switch to medicare for him it's likely to be a bit overwhelming given the number of doctors he sees. But he is also in the hospital with some regularity so the supplemental will definitely be important.
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents
Old 01-08-2007, 08:47 AM   #30
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents

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It's only "old" if you act your age!
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents
Old 01-08-2007, 09:47 AM   #31
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents

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Originally Posted by WM
Thanks, but there's no need to apologize. I can see why my initial post may have seemed a little ridiculous, especially given other people's generally positive experiences with their parents. At 32, I'm still young enough to be foolish, right?
Good of you to acknowledge your post being a bit callous, but I'm not sure that it would be in the case of aging parents who are frivolous with their money (which would include letting do-nothing children live off them). Then again, if you were brought up in such a household, it's not likely you would learn how to LBYM. That said, people (including parents) don't often learn a financial lesson until they're forced to by circumstances.

In the case of spendthrift parents (a category into which many Baby Boomers fit), living on Social Security, Medicare and small savings will be a dramatic wake-up call. While it's hard to see your parents in such a situation, it's probably not a bad thing for them to experience the initial pain and go through the necessary adjustment. Likewise, in the case of well-meaning parents, supporting deadbeat children (and their offspring) is something that shouldn't be tolerated by LBYM children who are in a position to help their aging parents.

If LBYM children provide financial help to either of the foregoing types of aging parents, they would be providing the same sort of "economic outpatient care" that the authors of the Millionaire Next Door consider to be problematic. This is not to say that paying the occasional medical bill, utility bill or mortgage installment would be inappropriate, but rather that LBYM children shouldn't continue to enable behavior that makes little financial sense.

FINAL CAVEAT: Each person's family situation is different, but if providing financial support doesn't feel right, it probably isn't.
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents
Old 01-08-2007, 04:34 PM   #32
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents

Well, I agree generally that "economic outpatient care" is problematic, regardless of who it's going to, but in the case of parents, it seems like it would be awfully hard to draw a line. At that point, unlike with problematic adult children, it's pretty late for them to be getting new jobs or getting financially educated enough to be able to make up for a lack of savings. Tough to save themselves, in other words, even if they made a real effort at it.

In our case, DH watched some bad financial habits growing up and has always kind of assumed that he'd be responsible for helping his parents at some point. It's true that we might not be willing to take that on if they were outrageous spendthrifts, but since they live modestly, even if not always LBYM, we wouldn't feel good about walking away.

I guess when I started this thread, I was expecting that with all the number crunching that goes on around here, there would be plenty of other people who were providing assistance to their parents on a regular basis and could give an idea how much that plays into annual expenses. Something to be planned for, along with college for the kids. I'm kind of surprised that that doesn't seem to be the case.
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents
Old 01-08-2007, 05:07 PM   #33
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents

WM,
I am Asian and where I grew up, it's tradition to support parents. I set aside a monthly allowance and remit every 6 months to my 83-year-old mother and my 57-year-old brother, just because it's easier that way for me. It helps me and them know what the expected cash flow is. I am not retired so their allowance just comes out of my paychecks.

In the back of my mind, I think of what business I can set up to help them out more--something with a sense of ownership for my older brother so that it's not just a dole-out or a pension. I just give up too quickly--I don't think too deeply. Maybe a mini-import business, but it's daunting and much easier to write the checks out.

I don't know if you could set aside a monthly amount and designate it for your parents or in-laws so that when they do need help, you have something accumulated. It could be part of your emergency funds, too.

I've read posts indicating there are quite a few people on this board who help out their parents and even other family members, maybe not with a set budget line-item in all cases but with considerable gifts and on an as-needed basis.
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents
Old 01-08-2007, 06:15 PM   #34
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents

Quote:
Originally Posted by WM
I guess when I started this thread, I was expecting that with all the number crunching that goes on around here, there would be plenty of other people who were providing assistance to their parents on a regular basis and could give an idea how much that plays into annual expenses. Something to be planned for, along with college for the kids. I'm kind of surprised that that doesn't seem to be the case.
This board maintains some perennial reciprocated diatribes debates:
- active management vs index funds
- keep or pay off the mortgage
- pay for college or let 'em suffer put their own skin in the game
- the precise SWR to six significant figures
- build a safe financial cushion or suffer from paralysis by analysis
- it's later than you think, what are you saving it for?
- taking Social Security now or later or even later
- whether or not to convert to a Roth IRA
- asset allocation and its volatility risks or other dangers
- financial advisors
- annuities
- tastes great, less filling.

Another debate is whether to help people who may not have hit rock bottom yet actually be ready to change, and who should be motivated enough to seek help without us having to pester them. Whether it's a co-worker, a friend, an in-law, or a close member of the family, the sentiment seems to be that unsolicited advice & unsolicited help is doomed to failure.

We watch our parents-in-law live such a frugal life that Hetty Greene would be envious of their parsimony. But every time we offer to help out or suggest that we spend money for their sake, we not only get an immediate polite dismissal-- we're given the distinct impression that we silly kids are blissfully ignorant wastrels who'll bankrupt their only granddaughter and doom her to a life of poverty.

I'm not saying that there's a pat answer for every situation, or a unique solution yielding from a coldly rational appraisal and logical analysis. But if it makes people sleep better at night knowing they tried, then that's what they should do. So spouse & I look at each other, shrug our shoulders, and say "Eh, we tried." Of course our daughter's relative poverty is her problem!

"Build a man a fire and he'll be warm until the wood runs out, but teach a man to gather wood & build a fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."

A more cynical variant on that is "Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life"...
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents
Old 01-08-2007, 06:35 PM   #35
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents

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A more cynical variant on that is "Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life"...
Cynical. It seems to make the most sense.

My parents were constantly broke and in debt. My father retired on a post office pension. I worried how they would do. My mother died. About 12 years later my father died with a paid off condo and about $150,000 in investments. Where do I think the problem was?

You can't save the world or even change your relatives when it comes to spending. If you support their living above their means you've become an enabeler. Then if you ever cut your contributions, you are the heartless scum depriving them.

I've always taken the position that for elderly relatives that won't control their spending you should let them max out their credit cards and deplete every asset they have. Let them live with their new reality for awhile -- maybe 20 years -- and then look at giving them some edibles for special occasions.

Don't give a drunk a drink and don't give a wasteful spender money.
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents
Old 01-08-2007, 08:51 PM   #36
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents

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I guess when I started this thread, I was expecting that with all the number crunching that goes on around here, there would be plenty of other people who were providing assistance to their parents on a regular basis and could give an idea how much that plays into annual expenses.
WM

I'm my fathers only child and one of 8 for my mother. As the second oldest and the oldest son I always saw myself as the caretaker.

In 94 I made a deal with my mother. She sold her $50K house in the midwest and used a portion of that as a downpayment on a $110K Vegas house and I make all the payments, taxes and insurance. She used the rest of her house money to fill the place with crap.

I'm out about 13K a year but the property has appreciated 9% a year. She gets 12K ss a year (you can live on $12K a year with no housing expense) and I would pay her when she helped me with my dad. She lives in a much nicer home and her expenses are alot less than if she had stayed in the midwest. I could do more but she seems to have plenty as I'll be able to fill up a couple of dollar stores when she's gone. It did annoy me when she lent a couple thousand to a sister that burned her. Not so annoyed when I see the $25 checks to grandkids. I assume their parents are at least reciprocating at holidays.

Dad was a modest saver and he was on death's door when I got him in 1998. I figured I could add at least 6 more months to his life and actually got him out of a nursing home and living with me for 8 years before he passed. Although he had funds for his daycare, etc. he actually "cost" me more because he had no plan other than to die if no one stepped in. He had remarried and would not make estate plans which allowed his wife's vultures children to jump in and cause the expenditure of tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees. She passed in 2001 and the hijacked probate is still open. (Get a living Trust)

My point here is that if you are going to be the "one" you have every right to be proactive and insist on a plan. Otherwise run away! I was amazed by the number (majority) of people who told me to stick him in a home and not be responsible. I don't understand that thinking for parents but don't blame anyone either. All other family are on their own!
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents
Old 01-09-2007, 11:53 AM   #37
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents

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I was amazed by the number (majority) of people who told me to stick him in a home and not be responsible.
Well, maybe that depends on the relationship those people had with their own parents when they were growing up. It looks like it was much better for you and your father.

There's a good reason that many nursing-home residents don't get visits from their kids... and I'm pretty sure the employees of those homes would agree with the "kids".

Yeah, yeah, "Honor thy father and thy mother". But respect is also a two-way street.
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents
Old 01-09-2007, 01:12 PM   #38
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents

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Well, maybe that depends on the relationship those people had with their own parents when they were growing up....But respect is also a two-way street.
i totally lucked out. i had the best mom in all the universes so of course i would have done anything for her.

a friend of mine had a nasty mom. and during alzheimer's she got even worse. my friend took such good care of her mother, even while siblings did nothing. her mom would scream & curse at her while she fed her mom, bathed & changed her. i was so happy for my friend when her mother died. it just beat the crap out of her and she still suffers depression which i hope she will be able to overcome.

i have the utmost respect for my friend. i remember how difficult i was during adolescence but my parents never gave up on me.

i think there's a lot to be said for taking care of your own. wherever you look, you will find those who help each other living better than those who don't.
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents
Old 01-09-2007, 05:12 PM   #39
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents

There seems to be a difference of opinion on what people should do with their parents. I'll say what I want my kids to do for me should I be unfortunate enough to come down with Alzhemiers' or anything else where I need continuous care.

I want them to have a life. I want them to put me in a nice, safe place when I need it whether I fight them or not because by then my mind will be gone. I want them to come visit me but not so frequently they can't still go and do.

I don't want them to spend many years trying to keep me from hurting myself and dealing with my outbursts. I never want one of my own children to change my diaper.

I hope to have enough residual savings to put me in a nice place. If I don't, I want them to go for Medicaide unless they're so rich they won't notice the hit.

I'd be interested in knowing if anyone really wants their kids to devote 10 years of their life to round the clock care of them.
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents
Old 01-09-2007, 05:38 PM   #40
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Re: supporting / subsidizing aging parents

Hi 2B,

My parents will both be 70 this year. They have told my sister and I that if/when they can't take care of themselves, they want us to find them somewhere nice and visit once in a while, just like you said. There is longevity in our family, so hopefully they'll have many more years before that is an issue.

But, they also know that my sister and I would do anything for them - which is probably why they firmly insist that we don't. We would also help them financially if they needed it, but they retired early at 57 and there's pretty much no chance they will run out of money. After 12 years of retirement, my dad said that they have more money than when they pulled the plug.

Karen
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