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Planning for changes in mental acuity
Old 11-14-2013, 09:50 AM   #1
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Planning for changes in mental acuity

I've spent more time recently with DF (85 YO) and DM (73 YO) and have noticed an increase in what I call the "vultures" circling and trying to take advantage of them. This includes telemarketers, home care companies, "financial" advisors and even a few family members.

Luckily, they are still mentally sharp and I am there to help where I can, but would be a real danger as their mental acuity drops. It got me thinking about how I might plan for that since I don't have any children to help protect DW and me.

Have any of you in retirement taken steps to protect your assets in case you start slipping or have any of you in pre-RE made any contingency plans?
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:57 AM   #2
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That's a good question as we don't have any kids either. DW and I have discussed using one of our nephews/nieces in that capacity (they are the trustees in our living trust)

We are not sure how to approach them about that issue or how to start the conversation. Would love to hear any ideas...................
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Old 11-14-2013, 10:11 AM   #3
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. It got me thinking about how I might plan for that since I don't have any children to help protect DW and me.

Have any of you in retirement taken steps to protect your assets in case you start slipping or have any of you in pre-RE made any contingency plans?
Same boat here. Mostly all alone in the world. Bros and sisters 1500 miles away and of course they will be old and close to expiration date at the same time I will. (Plus they are not as smart as I am anyway. I can't rely on them now let alone 20-30 yrs from now)

At this time I am, as you are, looking into how to put my life on "Automatic". Not just for old age mental acuity reasons either. I could be in a coma or body cast next week due to some turn of events. I cannot see a way to have somebody in effect live my "Shadow Life" to step in for me on short notice. Like someone to call on a Medic Alert Card. I don't know if one can hire a lawyer for that to act under instructions...?

I am in a quandry now. I can't be the only person in that situation. There are lots of old people who have outlived their spouse and have no children or children living in cities scattered around the country and cannot simply step in and run things
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Old 11-14-2013, 01:25 PM   #4
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That's a good question as we don't have any kids either. DW and I have discussed using one of our nephews/nieces in that capacity (they are the trustees in our living trust)

We are not sure how to approach them about that issue or how to start the conversation. Would love to hear any ideas...................
I am single and child-free. Have two sisters, who are the LAST people I would ever want making decisions regarding my welfare; I certainly don't want them to have access to any of my funds.

I have a much younger cousin (15 years younger than me) and have had several conversations with them and their spouse about this subject. Basically this cousin and their spouse are the only people I would trust to make such decisions for me, and certainly the only people I would trust with my financial affairs. We see each other about once a month, and keep up with each other by email frequently. I have told them that the moment they see I am losing my marbles (eg, I go "kookoo for cocoa puffs") they are to bop me on the head with a big stick, sell my house, and install me in the very nice, moderately priced retirement community down the road. In the next few months we will be formalizing this agreement with legal documents.

Now all we have to do is make sure we define "kookoo for cocoa puffs" the same way!

Over the years we have watched multiple elderly members of our parents' generation deteriorate mentally, and fortunately we are in total agreement that waiting too long to deal with the situation is not in anyone's interest.

I realize that I am very fortunate to have a family member whom I trust.
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Old 11-14-2013, 02:02 PM   #5
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This is the trully big unknown for me. we have no kids, no nieces/nephews, and no close family. Definitely a scary thing to think about.
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Old 11-14-2013, 02:16 PM   #6
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I have no relatives I'm talking to, will try set up everything with friend once I'm Florida.
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Old 11-14-2013, 04:32 PM   #7
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I have a much younger cousin (15 years younger than me) and have had several conversations with them and their spouse about this subject. Basically this cousin and their spouse are the only people I would trust to make such decisions for me, and certainly the only people I would trust with my financial affairs. We see each other about once a month, and keep up with each other by email frequently. I have told them that the moment they see I am losing my marbles (eg, I go "kookoo for cocoa puffs") they are to bop me on the head with a big stick, sell my house, and install me in the very nice, moderately priced retirement community down the road. In the next few months we will be formalizing this agreement with legal documents.

Now all we have to do is make sure we define "kookoo for cocoa puffs" the same way!

Over the years we have watched multiple elderly members of our parents' generation deteriorate mentally, and fortunately we are in total agreement that waiting too long to deal with the situation is not in anyone's interest.

I realize that I am very fortunate to have a family member whom I trust.
That might work for us. I'll have to start thinking about who might be trustworthy enough. I think most of my relatives would have me locked up now if the criteria was being "kookoo".
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Old 11-14-2013, 04:46 PM   #8
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It got me thinking about how I might plan for that since I don't have any children to help protect DW and me.

Have any of you in retirement taken steps to protect your assets in case you start slipping or have any of you in pre-RE made any contingency plans?
We don't have any children either so like many we're in the same boat too. DW and I have discussed it during all this time we're dealing with FIL's issues and although we haven't yet discussed it with them, DW's nephew and his wife and DW's niece are trustworthy enough to ask about it.

This would require rewriting the will, last redone ~12 years ago, to leave them something if there is anything left. Both were in their 20's at the time and they've grown up into mature responsible adults since then. My nephews and nieces are nutcases.
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:01 PM   #9
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We took our pensions as annuities in part so if our investing skills slipped as we got older we'd still have regular Social Security and pension payments coming in.

We also play kids memory games to keep our brains sharp.

This is a good topic to think about. We do have kids but who knows if they will be living near us 30 years from now.
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:07 PM   #10
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My plan is to put it all into PSSSTTTT!! Wellesley fund,
and then have them send me a check every month. NO brains required once I have figured the monthly withdrawal that will keep me from running out of money.
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Old 11-15-2013, 12:05 PM   #11
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This is an interesting topic and something most don't want to think about or make plans. I am living through helping my 90 y/o parents manage things that once were easy but now are a huge challenge. Our only daughter lives 1500 miles away and when we are in a stage of needing to have things as much as possible on auto pilot will do and then hope our planning makes it such that she has a few decisions and choices but not the mess I have with my parents today. Even though I am a very dedicated "self guided" investor and my wife participates our daughter (although very responsible) would have a huge task if we don't simplify and auto pilot more than we are today.
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Old 11-15-2013, 12:21 PM   #12
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Great question! Maybe I should return to studying ballistics as cleaning the pistols when the boys came calling to date my daughters was always a focused discussion on the rules and borders. Guess the RA needs to know how you value your possessions and that you have a persuasive tool to make sure some jerk doesn't take advantage of you.........or in other words.....do they feel lucky? ha! Just kidding of course. However, the gun cleaning trick is very effective! Ha!
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Old 11-15-2013, 12:43 PM   #13
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I cared for my elderly mom until her death and her short term memory was terrible. She watched tv all day.. This was a woman who devoured books like candy but as she aged depression got to her and she didn't have the attention span to read anymore.

I read like crazy, play games and plan on taking Italian lessons when I retire. I also enrolled in a certificate course in instructional design, learning something completely new. Also, the plan is to move to a college town where activities abound.

And fingers crossed - it's also a crap shoot!
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Old 11-15-2013, 12:48 PM   #14
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This is the trully big unknown for me. we have no kids, no nieces/nephews, and no close family. Definitely a scary thing to think about.
My DH and I are in this exact same position. There is no one we know well enough to trust to help us. I am hoping that some ideas will come across in this thread.
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Old 11-15-2013, 01:30 PM   #15
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I'm not too good at finding threads, but I remember one this year which seemed to conclude that if no trustworthy relative appears, your only alternative is to pay a lawyer or other professional person a large retainer to handle things. Of course you have to be sure he/she is trustworthy and will stay in business long enough.

We had a tax adviser whom we would have sworn was trustworthy as could be, and then we started finding out disturbing things he was up to, such as inveigling a wealthy, elderly client into making donations to his favorite charities (legit donations to legit charities, but still....)

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Old 11-15-2013, 03:01 PM   #16
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My DH and I are in this exact same position. There is no one we know well enough to trust to help us. I am hoping that some ideas will come across in this thread.
We don't see family candidates either, only 2 Niece's I'd consider. They have both witnessed the horror my DS has with DF. Don't even know how to ask.

In regards to vultures, DS had to step in and protect DF from himself. Every charity on tv, Church, UW. They didn't pester him he just gave it away. The last straw was when he told DS he was giving someone in assisted living 5K, cause he thought they needed a trip.

There's more to it than putting investments on autopilot.

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Old 11-22-2013, 05:00 PM   #17
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Hi Willers,

This is kind of a tangent, but have you heard of Lumosity.com? It's a website that does cognitive training. You can play, I think 3 games per day free, or buy a membership if you like. I'm 48, was 47.5 when I started back in July of this year. I LOVE this thing. Basically you go play some little games on the computer, and if you keep at it, it will improve your memory, your ability to think more quickly, your ability to resist impulses, your ability to retain multiple things at once, etc. I am in no way associated with the company, financially or otherwise. I had just noticed that I was not as sharp as I was, and at the same time, I had gotten interested in epigeneology and brain stuff. I started doing it and I am thrilled with the results. I'm remembering stuff I haven't remembered in 30 years. If someone on my floor at work starts peeling an orange, I can smell it. I'm seeing things on my morning walks that I never noticed before and I've been living here and walking in the neighborhood for 10 years. I know this doesn't exactly address your concerns, but the website claims that the effects of the training can be measured even 5 year after someone stops training, and that this can also delay the onset of Alzheimer's. Don't know about that but I'm really happy with the current payoff.

Side note, back in the day when my Grandmother was still here, she also attracted a few vultures. My parents were quick to send them packing, fortunately, but seriously, it takes a special kind of scumbag to prey on the elderly.
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Old 11-22-2013, 05:25 PM   #18
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I have a will, living will, POA and durable POA executed by an attorney naming my son as my keeper. I trust him completely and hope he picks out a nice memory loss facility for me if I ever get to the point where I don't know if I'm coming or going. It would be best for me if I stay in this area as I have a lot of long-time friends with an in-depth knowledge of aging services (it's what we all did for a living). Hopefully at least one or two of them will have the interest and capacity to visit and check up on me once in awhile and also to advocate for me. I will gladly do the same for them if the shoe is on the other foot.
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Old 11-24-2013, 04:43 PM   #19
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Hi Willers, This is kind of a tangent, but have you heard of Lumosity.com? It's a website that does cognitive training. You can play, I think 3 games per day free, or buy a membership if you like. I'm 48, was 47.5 when I started back in July of this year. I LOVE this thing. Basically you go play some little games on the computer, and if you keep at it, it will improve your memory, your ability to think more quickly, your ability to resist impulses, your ability to retain multiple things at once, etc. I am in no way associated with the company, financially or otherwise. I had just noticed that I was not as sharp as I was, and at the same time, I had gotten interested in epigeneology and brain stuff. I started doing it and I am thrilled with the results. I'm remembering stuff I haven't remembered in 30 years.
Thanks for the suggestion. I ran across this site a year ago or so after I saw an ad for it. I'll take a look. Not too off topic since staying sharp is the ideal outcome.
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Old 12-01-2013, 03:11 PM   #20
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I take folic acid to improve my memory. it seems to help.

I have seen executor abuse in unusual places, and also would advise caution when picking out someone to look after your affairs. Between outright theft and unseemly fees, there is always the temptation that follows money, and family members are not immune. My son, an estate attorney, pursues these abuse issues every day.

After seeing a friend of mine whom I thought was as sharp as a tack get taken for $160k by a "financial advisor," I have to wonder how well prepared I'll be to fight off the vultures, or even if I will be able to recognize them.
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