Caring, financially, for aging parents? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 16 Old 10-29-2012, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Does anyone foresee having to care for aging parents?

 

Have you had to discuss the matter? When? How?

 

It would be the IL's in our case, and I suspect they will need our financial support, but how does one even start this discussion?


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#2 of 16 Old 10-29-2012, 02:07 PM
 
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Posting to remind myself to come back to this thread.

 

My parents are just about to retire but have the money and the means to afford retirement/care homes. 

 

My FIL and MIL are divorced (dating each other but divorce, they go in cycles) and both have medical conditions and FIL possibly could be "set" for retirement if he was able to sell his business for a decent price. MIL on the other had was just recently diagnosed with Parkinsons and while she specifically hasn't mentioned it to us, (we've been getting the info from FIL) we are pretty sure that she will not have the means to live. It's so new DH and I haven't really had the time to sit down and talk about it. 

BIL is not in a position to help, we're worried about FIL helping, DH is not fond of his mom and we only *just* finally got life/finances/job figured out. So I am truly interested in what other's have to say!


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#3 of 16 Old 10-29-2012, 02:34 PM
 
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Subbing. This has been a difficult topic in our household. MIL was left with a huge financial mess after FIL died, and my DP (the youngest of 4 siblings) has felt very responsible for helping get her mom back on track. It has been a very tricky thing figuring out how to do that while setting appropriate boundaries, so that we don't ruin our own finances in the process. It is really hard to have those conversations, but trust me, not having them is worse. When I realized that my DP was using our home equity to support her mom, without consulting me, it was almost the end of our marriage. We worked through it, thank goodness, and I trust that DP won't go behind my back again. But it was really hard.

 

I'll be interested to hear how others weigh in on this topic!


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#4 of 16 Old 10-29-2012, 07:10 PM
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Subbing. This has been a difficult topic in our household. MIL was left with a huge financial mess after FIL died, and my DP (the youngest of 4 siblings) has felt very responsible for helping get her mom back on track. It has been a very tricky thing figuring out how to do that while setting appropriate boundaries, so that we don't ruin our own finances in the process. It is really hard to have those conversations, but trust me, not having them is worse. When I realized that my DP was using our home equity to support her mom, without consulting me, it was almost the end of our marriage. We worked through it, thank goodness, and I trust that DP won't go behind my back again. But it was really hard.

 

I'll be interested to hear how others weigh in on this topic!

 

 

  Wow that would be a difficult situation.  I freaked when dh gave MIL $500 without telling me!  

 

BIL has been supporting MIL (she has been living with him), but he just lost his job.  I hope he finds another one soon.  


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#5 of 16 Old 10-30-2012, 03:58 AM
 
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This topic reminds me of a blog post I recently read and thought I would share. Its a change of perspective, how some Asian cultures typically provide for their aging parents.

 

http://joannagoddard.blogspot.com/2012/10/motherhood-mondays-do-you-ever-pay-for.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FbboSV+%28A+CUP+OF+JO%29

 

For myself, Im not sure if I will have to, my dad has always been very dutiful and responsible as the financial contributor of the family.  My mom worries if he dies first what would she do ... and she is always invited to live in my home. (Although I am Canadian living in the US, she would be covered by health insurance in Canada - that would surely be a huge expenditure if not).


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#6 of 16 Old 10-30-2012, 05:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Interesting. But here we are at age 30 and still haven't "made it" it would take me a week to make what my dad makes in a day. I have a mortgage and childcare expenses and am feeding 4 people- he's paid off his house and is feeding two. I could see making this courtesy if you're on fairly level playing ground (but then, we wouldn't be dining out or buying a new car or bed even for ourselves). Also, how do two sets of parents (yours and DH's) decide who "gets" that pleasure....and amongst siblings.

 

And what about when parents have the opportunity to save but instead live beyond their means and wrack up debt instead? Would you* then expect your children to do the same if you were unprepared for retirement because you did contribute so much to your parents' that you didn't get to contribute enough to your own?

 

The figurative "you", not YOU specifically. Just trying to gain some perspective on the issue.

 

Personally, they're your parents and of course you're going to help them however you can. I guess I would like to know just how much they will need so WE can plan for that, even they are not.


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#7 of 16 Old 10-30-2012, 06:35 AM
 
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eirual -

 

It's funny how it happened overnight. my dad has always made really good money (6 figures +, owned several companies that were making millions but he couldn't keep up with the workload of being the only money earner in the company) but absolutely freak'n terrible at managing it. He would give his last dollar to anyone who asked, and his mother, his brother (bipolar), my brother (he's 26 and got out of the army a few years ago) etc all ask him for money/support on a daily basis. My uncle and brother have been living in my dad's 600sqft condo for over a year now.

 

My mom and stepdad while poverty level never once asked for financial aid, and my stepdad in particular is proud to a fault.

 

I've always been fairly independent, but had a lot of runs of bad luck that had me wondering if I could feed myself. Altho I never once asked them for money.

Just a few years ago everything changed. Now I pay for my mom, dad, and younger sister to visit me (buy plane tickets, pay for meals, etc) my dad borrowed 3K for bankruptcy lawyer (third or fourth time in 20 years?) sis borrowed 600 to pay her rent....etc.

 

I went from my dad offering to pay for everything all the time to asking to borrow money. HUGE change that seemingly happened overnight.

I feel like talking heads song - once in a lifetime....

going from feeling like a kid (which I still do) to having 401k plan, mortgage, nest egg, new car, 2 kids, and i'm the finacially secure one....

How did I get here???

 

lol

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#8 of 16 Old 10-30-2012, 10:17 AM
 
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We have already started this with my mother - paying for some things for her. About 6 or 7 yrs ago, my brothers and I set up a fund for this. At the moment only one brother is contributing to the fund - he is super frugal and also has a 6 figure income. (I am struggling with DR's pre-step 1 - so I am in no position to contribute currently $$ wise)

I however, hold the checkbook and am responsible to pay bills as they come up. We make decisions together, my bothers and I, but I send the check. So far, we send her a small amount of $$ each month and pay her medical bills if there's a balance after insurance pays it's share.

It's hard to see her make unwise financial decisions with the $$ we send her. She just recently took on car payments again at age 69 while living only on social security. That was NOT the wise choice - but she did it without consulting any of us.

My dad and his wife are doing okay. My MIL, I think is going to need help with physical stuff soon vs financial support.


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#9 of 16 Old 10-30-2012, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Orange, how and when did you decide to set that fund up? Who initiated it, and how did your mom feel about?


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#10 of 16 Old 10-30-2012, 10:43 AM
 
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My brother, the frugal one, brought it up about 10 years ago during a visit home with us - we just hashed it around for awhile. Based on our mother's past behaviors, we figured we'd need it eventually. For example, my mother "disappeared" about 12 yrs ago - she was living near us - just left one day - and showed up in Florida - about 1,000 miles away. When she ran out of money, I had to pay to move her back home. (I know I didn't HAVE to technically, but she IS my mother)

So we set up a checking account jointly - with my brothers. That one brother direct deposits a set amount every month. 

My mother is glad that she has the financial backup. She knows she can count on a little extra in the middle of each month. She never asked for us to do this but me and the sibs are glad we were proactive.

 

eirual, how do you picture this going with your in-laws?? Does DH have any sibs that would help out also?


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#11 of 16 Old 10-30-2012, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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eirual, how do you picture this going with your in-laws?? Does DH have any sibs that would help out also?

I think they would be rather embarassed and hence overly casual about the whole thing "Oh, I dunno, we'll make due". They have joked about us better having a property with a live-in basement. ...and it was a selling-feature of the house we bought. DH jokes with them about spending our inheritance to which the response is "what inheritance?!" and if anything we'll inherit DEBT!

 

He has one other sibling who could help financially, but who I don't think would change her life to help with the nitty-gritty, and one who still mooches off them.

 

I have brought up the need to discuss the issue with DH and he kind of thinks "what's the point? They aren't going to change how they live". And I think it would be a hard (serious) discussion to have.


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#12 of 16 Old 10-30-2012, 01:02 PM
 
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Soooo. My mom, in her 70's, is the eldest of our parents (my dad died when i was young and she never remarried). She is pretty good with her finances, not wealthy, but living a solidly "middle class" lifestyle. She has SS, a 401K ( though I don't think she uses it yet. ) and is in good health. My Sis and BIL live with my mom, he is steadily employed and has good benefits (though not a great income). My mom stays with us for big chunks of time as well. For now we couldn't contribute much financially, but when Dh graduates from school (he has a job already), we will be in a financial position to help. I get the feeling that my family would need a little financial help for things like home care nursing, medical costs if my mom got sick, at most. And I know that we can definitley do that in the next year or so. I don't worry about them so much.

My dh is an only child, with divorced and remarried parents. They are still pretty young, in their 50's, which is nice for now. His mom and stepdad are awesome. They are also in that "middle class" tax bracket. I think that they probably are little better of than my family. SFIL has no children of his own. I'm pretty sure, knowing them as I do, that they are financially preparing themselves for when they get older. I'm sure that their home will be paid off by then and again, we can contribute financially if they need assistance in order to stay there, or if they would like to move into a retirement home.
I actually really envision my family and this side of DH's family all living on a few acres in separate homes or apartments. We intend to live on several acres anyway and would absolutely offer this to our family. They can sell their homes and we'll give them part of our lot to build on, or they can just contribute to building on "in law suites" to our house, if they prefer. (I think we'll build one for my mom no matter what, since my sis and BIL may not be able to pick up and move, even if they want to).

The real problem is FIL and SMIL. They are just about destitute. My FIL is a retail employee at a home improvment store and has been forever. He can't even go up to assistant management because "he can't take the stress" (he's bipolar) and SMIL works as a part time secretary in a small upholstery business, (when business is slow, she gets no hours for months at a time.) They have a small house with a low mortgage that they have been in since the 80's, and they have just about paid it off, so really all this might have been fine, except that they have been raising SBIL's kids,now teens, (as in actually adopted them) since preschool. SBIL is in no way involved in their lives, and if he were, it would more likely be a financial drain on dh's parents than a help. The S-nephew is 16 and his brain has been fried by either the psych meds he's been on since childhood or from some substance he abused (no one knows for sure). He will most likely be on disability or in group homes as an adult. S- niece is 15 and in and out jail, or the hospital, or substance abuse programs, and while I sincerely hope she can find her way through this and be okay on the on the other side- at this point my in-laws are thinking about giving custody over to the state (they already did this with the nephew because they couldn't afford the treatment and facilities he needed to be in) and washing their hands of her. So all that to say, there is no help for my in-laws from their other "children."

My dh has a strained relationship with his dad and S-mom, as it is. I'm sure the above paragraph is explanatory enough. He doesn't want the burden of caring for them, but knows that there isn't any help. He's pretty emphatically against having them live with us, and i can't blame dh for feeling this way with they way his FIL and SMom are, which means they'll have to have some kind of help at home along with financial help (all they will have is Medicare and SS) if they are able to keep their house, or will have to be in an assisted living facility. I'm really against anyone having to go to a place like that, if they don't want to, and we can't just throw them into any place they can afford. We're going to have to subsidize them enough that they can be in a good safe place. All we can do is hope they remain fairly healthy as they get older so they can stay in their own home. greensad.gif

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#13 of 16 Old 11-01-2012, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, banana, that's an awful set of circumstances :( .

 

I've decided I'll speak with SIL before MIL & FIL. See if she knows any more information or may be willing to do the dirty work. :P


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#14 of 16 Old 11-03-2012, 12:52 PM
 
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This has recently become a major issue for us.  My mom makes more money than we do, but is horrible at managing it.  She gets paid once per month and by the 2nd of the month she has spent it all, including her food money, and not paid about half her bills.  She moved back here in July and lived with us for 3 months.  She is on her own now, but is going to lose her income in a month and has not even looked for a replacement job.  We have been helping to support her a LOT financially (around 750/mo, which is more than half of my pay), and that is with her working! 

 

Part of it is her horrible money management, and part of it is her physical limitations.  I think she is afraid to find a job, but we can't support her anymore. We have a baby coming in less than a week, and I won't even be able to work this month, which puts us really far under our usual budget, anyway. 

 

I honestly don't know what to do.

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#15 of 16 Old 11-03-2012, 09:46 PM
 
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I totally expect to have to financially support both sides of our family.  We already pay for things for my parents (travel to see us mainly and extra things).  They are generally response for their money and live within their means.  Neither of them is healthy and would qualify for government assistance.  DH's parents I am not sure about their money or plans.  DH's dad is wise when it comes to money but I don't think his mom would be okay if his dad died.  My parents know I will take care of them.  DH's parents I have joked with that we would take care of them but I am not sure that they know that.

 

DH and I both have brothers.  Neither of which have money.

 

I just hope that no one needs too much support until my kids are out of daycare.

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#16 of 16 Old 11-08-2012, 07:10 PM
 
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I don't expect to support our parents financially.  Emotionally or physically is a different matter. DH's parents are financially savvy and expect to have enough and leave some inheritance to their kids.  My parents should have enough, unless my mom squander it.  The problem is my dad is much older than my mom and has lots of health problems.  He's the one who manage everything to do with money.  My mom is very healthy, expect to live to 100 and totally clueless about bills and investments.  I gave them hints many times but he would not teach her and she didn't want to learn.  I expect to become her power of attorney rather early, and my brother (who's financially irresponsible) argue with us all the time about how unfair things are.

 

I sure hope no hyperinflation occur, or our parents might not have enough.  We have two autistic kids and DH and I are hoping to not only save for our own retirement, but to leave them money as well. 


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