Monday, September 21, 2009

Mom's money

My Mom's money belongs to her. She wants to leave it to me, my brothers and the sister we don't talk to. We understand her desire, she has raised 4 kids who are wildly ..okay.. none of us are wildly successful in any way. We have jobs that are kind of secure and good, no CEOs in our family. Both of my brothers and my sister (and my mother if we're counting her) have been divorced twice and are currently unmarried. I have been divorced once and just don't want to add to my family fun statistic.

So yeah. There is a distinct possibility that she feels like leaving us some money will be something she can give us that can improve our lives. Well sure, a chunk of money (and it wouldn't be that large) would always be welcome. But not at the expense of my Mom's care. We are trying to do what is best for her but I know we cannot afford care whether it be adult day care, in-home care, assisted living, to whatever we need. Not because we're worried about running down our savings, who's got savings??? Nobody is worried about not being able to afford a vacation, who does that? No. It's worried because we don't have it.

Anyway. I talked to an attorney today who specialized in Elder Law. No I didn't, I talked to his administrator whose name was Dottie. She
was very helpful with the law in New Jersey, the ins and outs of Medicare, Medicaid, elder care, etc. Comes down to - Ma - we have to cash in the stuff you want to save for us so we can take care of you. Period.

I talked to her tonight, I think I was the first one to bring up the idea of (eventually) needing assisted living or some kind of full time care. I was gentle but I think she was shocked. I told her we don't want her to have to go anywhere right now and later - if then - only if it's necessary. We talked about her dropping the price on her home (which sits empty) so she can get it to sell, spoke about spending some of that money for a place she can go during the day to be around other people to socialize, and also be near people who can help her if she falls. Adult daycare couched in words almost sounding like "play date". A place to go to meet people, play cards, TV, talk to people, maybe do crafts.

Not a fun talk. It didn't help that she got up and was moving around while we were talking and when she sat down again she had some serious wheezing going on. I wanted to breathe FOR her. Through the phone. So .. there wasn't much discussion. I tried to emphasize that these are still her decisions, we aren't trying to take those choices away. She said "it's a lot to digest all at once." Yes Mom, it is.

After I got off the phone with her I went to my Insurance Company's site and sent an email to my agent. I need to look into long term care for myself. I don't want my kids to have to figure out how to care for me. I'm 50 now, and if I wait - the price is only going to go up so I might as well check into it now. I have no idea what kind of planning other people do, I'm sure it's quite different for couples, but I guess I've never discussed it with anyone.

Are any of you planning that far ahead? Are you worried about possibly being a burden on your children?

For me I don't see myself as a burden really, but I just want there to be a plan in place so when and if it becomes necessary I want my kids to know there is something in place for that eventuality. I don't want them to have to agonize over it.


Anonymous said...

Well I have been shopping around to pre pay for my funeral but have not even thought about long term care. Guess I should add that to my list. Getting old sucks so much. It makes us face our worse fears.

Anonymous said...

Getting old sucks.I told my kids either one would look after me when the time comes I will place myself in an old folks home first.My MIL lives with us she is almost 90, its NOT a picnic looking after an older person, its emotional and damn hard work cleaning up after them.I didn't sign up for this when I got married, I feel like the second fiddle in the house... the cook/washer/ maid.Am I bitter yes... I wont make the same mistake with my kids.I dont want them to hate me just because I am old.... I am not there yet but it will come some day....

The Beading Gem said...

I definitely don't want to be a burden on my children when I grow old. I hope to live independently for as long as possible and to have the wits to arrange for outside help so I can do that.

BetteJo said...

Tonya - yeah, getting old sucks, but we can't control that. I guess trying to be prepared financially (if at all possible) is one thing we can try to control.

Anon - It's got to be doubly hard since it's not your own mother. I think I'm glad I'm divorced because there is simply NO WAY I could have taken care of my MIL. You're a better woman than I!

Pearl - I think we all want that, but can we have it?

thotlady said...

We do not have a plan in place and we do not have any children. Hopefully our dogs will look after us. ;-)

I am 11 years older than my husband so it will arrive sooner for me. I do not want him to have to take care of me, so I will need to look into something soon.

Yikes, one more bill a month to budget for...I hate it!

Lady Banana said...

It was sad that we had to sell my Dads house when he went into a care home.

I dread to think what will happen to me.. Hope I just wake up dead one day.. lol

Anonymous said...

I wish you health and happiness every day!
Ich wunsche Ihnen Gluck und Gesundheit jeden Tag!
Je vous souhaite sante et bonheur chaque jour!


Bev's Jewelry said...

Oh, my what a dilemma! I had breast cancer in '99, so getting long term health care is out of the question. Well, maybe now but not when we looked into it awhile ago. Our youngest daughter, her husband and two kids live with us now. I really dread thinking about what is bound to happen in the future.

Simon said...

We should think about the preparation of our old age by now. Save little of our income as our retirement assets, so as not to burden our children and grandchildren later.

However, if we have parents who should we pay for life, consider it an honor and a chance to return the favor and kindness before she went to the land of eternal with peace.

That's a very valuable opportunity, because if she had gone, there is no more chance. Remember what she has given to us since from our birth, when we were kids, when we are teenagers and adults. She gives us the attention, affection, patience, education, and he prepared us to face life full of competition.

When he was not helpless, it's time we are sacrificing until the end of her life story. She must always live be with us and we love, just like all of our children, who also must always be with us


Susannah said...

I heard Dave Ramsey's show today (10-20) & he was talking about JUST this thing. He says it's absolutely imperative that people buy long-term care insurance, b/c sooner or later, we'll need it.

We haven't started looking into it yet (41 y/o) b/c we've just gotten everyone into school - Elementary School. However, it makes perfect sense for you to start looking. If it's good enough for Dave Ramsey, hey, it's good enough for anybody!

Btw, you're a courageous woman.