12
   

I'm feeling guilty

 
 
chai2
 
Reply Fri 8 Jul, 2011 05:08 pm
And it's not an emotion I'm particulary familiar with, beyond feeling bad if I accidently cut someone off on the highway.

Typing this, I realize it's this guilt feeling I've been avoiding by procrastinating on something that should have been done years ago.

Estate planning/asset protection.

Wally's 64, going to be 65 next month. I'm right in the middle of 52.
Before I met him, Wally lived his life like he was thoroughly surprised to have gotten past 40 (he was 41 when we met) He's the grasshopper, I'm the ant. I've never had a doubt in my mind I'm going to make it to 100, and beyond, and have tried to plan accordingly.

I made an appointment for next week with an attorney to look into how I can protect the most amount of assets, in the event he ends up in a LTC place down the line, so I don't have to end up loosing any more than necessary before qualifying for medicaid to pay for a nursing home

(PLEASE - Let's NOT make this a discussion of what is exempt, income limits, trusts, cost of LTC, long term insurance, etc. That info is out there on the internet for anyone that cares to look)

I'm experience this guilt because I logically have to take this stance of "well, he's the older one, he's had the health problems, etc etc, and I'm the one responsible for acquiring just about everything we own. I want to protect it because I'm going to need it for the next 50 years.

I feel guilty because of course I may be the one who ends up needing LTC, not him. Or both of us may go quickly anyway, in no particular order.

It's the fact that I had to say to my husband, "It's too hard to keep having to say 'If in the future you need to go in a nursing home, although it could be me of course, or neither of us' and had to say 'To save time I'm just going to say when you go in a nursing home' and that phrase makes me feel terrible."

I asked him if that bothered him. He thought and nodded slightly and said, "a little, but we both know statistically that's the more likely outcome"

It just catches in my throat. It's a hard thing to say.

Maybe I'm asking what conversations have you had to have with someone, that made you feel illogically guilty?







 
Mame
 
  3  
Reply Fri 8 Jul, 2011 05:13 pm
No, can't say that I have. Maybe because my husband is only 5 yrs older than me and we're both as healthy as horses. But you're such a pragmatic, direct person that I'm somewhat surprised at you feeling guilt over that. It's a fact, or near fact, that due to his age and health, he will likely need an LTC before you do. You need to do what you need to do, and I would do the same in your shoes.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Jul, 2011 05:16 pm
@Mame,
Thanks mame, I really needed to hear that from someone who I believe thinks like me in some significant ways.

chai2
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Jul, 2011 05:27 pm
@chai2,
Related to the above, what mame said about both of them being healthy as horses.

I worked at 2 different nursing homes for a few years, as the assistant to the social worker. I saw so many people, the spouses out in the community, get that deer in the headlight look, then shock, then fright, when they realized how much they were going to lose, because, well, we were both just so healthy, I didn't know losing so much would be involved, how am I going to get by?

In the U.S. medicaid looks back 5 years at your spending, to see that you haven't been just giving tons of money away to relatives. So anything we do now will begin to protect us in 5 years.
I say this not to talk about the process, but also to acknowledge guilt that I waited so frigging long to look at this.

As many of you know, Wally has had health problems. In the last year, he has made very good progress at getting back to the man I once knew.
If you had asked me 2 years ago, I would have said I didn't think he'd be alive today. He was killing himself, and not so slowly.

Doing this is also acknowledging that for how good he is now, there is of course going to be the inevitable decline, for both of us.

I sure can't lecture you mame, since I've taken my sweet time, but even strong horses step in rabbit holes.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Jul, 2011 05:28 pm
@chai2,
Any time. But you know, it's not all bad in some of those homes and because of the large number of ageing boomers getting to that stage, they are really improving. I worked and volunteered in one of the best (IMO) for nearly 10 years, and have lately watched former in-laws and friends' parents go into various LTCs (extended, intermediate, etc). It's just a matter of choosing the right one and signing up early. If my husband had to go into one, I'd be visiting him every day and taking him out for meals, sports games, hook ups with buddies, shopping, etc. I wouldn't let him languish in indifference, boredom, obscurity, etc. And neither would you. It's not all that bad...just how you look at it. Because of what I've experienced, I wouldn't mind going into one at all. Look how lazy you get to be Smile
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jul, 2011 06:18 pm
@Mame,
Well, I'm hoping that neither one of us Ever has to end up in that situation!

I just know how fast hard earned savings can go.
0 Replies
 
George
 
  2  
Reply Sun 10 Jul, 2011 06:55 pm
As a 66 year old guy who has also put off making these kinds of plans, I am
following this thread with interest.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jul, 2011 07:37 pm
@George,
Hi George.

We're going to the attorney Wednesday. I'll report back.

I can tell you that you can't loose your home, if a spouse is living in it, or if you're single, you state it's your intent to move back there in the future. The value of the house is exempt for $500,000.
The spouse can also keep a car, other stuff.

Here's where it get's interesting. Now, keep in mind this is all from what I've read one afternoon via Google...

For a married couple, something like $110,000 cash assests (stocks, cash, etc) are exempt. Which means if you've managed to save/invest $220,000, you'll have to spend half of that to get to the limit.

One option would be putting a large chunk into a special irrevocable trust. You could never touch the balance, but could get the earnings and income from it. From my understanding the same person can be the trustor, trustee, and beneficiary.
Logically, that would mean tranferring assests into the name of the person more like to go into LTC, and the spouse could manage and be the ultimate beneficiary of it.

This isn't cheap, it's a couple/few thousand to set up, but in the long run....

0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jul, 2011 07:42 pm
I'm a 40-year-old only child with a divorced, single mom who has been having increasing health problems and who has been a total grasshopper until very recently and who still is not nearly ant-y enough IMO. I've been having a hard time figuring out how to handle this whole thing and have very similar thoughts of guilt etc. (While completely agreeing with Mame.)

I know it's my responsibility to take care of my mom if need be and I don't want to have to think of protecting my assets. But I am responsible for my daughter, too, and also feel like I need to protect my husband from extreme expenses due to my mother's health. I'm looking into LTC insurance and other things like that. (Mentioned it on the "Coping with Aging Loved Ones" thread, still not really further along in my research.) So, also reading with interest.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jul, 2011 07:49 pm
@sozobe,
You aren't required to pay your mothers bills soz. If the time came for your mother, her eligibility for Medicaid would be based on her finances, not yours.

Unless you have some sort of legal arrangement where you are financially responsible for her?

sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jul, 2011 08:02 pm
@chai2,
Well that's the LTC insurance thing. Medicaid covers some things, but not everything. If, for example, she broke her hip and required home visits but was otherwise mostly fine, then that would not be covered.*

There are other exceptions but I'm still figuring it all out.

If something is not covered, and I have money that she doesn't have, I do feel an obligation to her.

If she can have insurance and other things in place so that she is able to financially deal with whatever arises, that would be best.

She is still working and earns a good salary as of right now, so she is in a position to set herself up pretty well if she handles it right.... and I'm trying to encourage her to do so. She has so far been fairly dismissive.

edit: here's what I quoted in the other thread:

Quote:
With that in mind, Ms. Overman’s advice for Ms. Sturm started with getting long-term care insurance for herself. “In my opinion it’s essential. You can break a hip and long-term care will take care of you when medical coverage does not — same with stroke.”

Ms. Overman said all older people should consider such coverage, even married couples with children. “I have had women tell me, ‘My kids will take care of me.’ Only to have them call me a year and a half later saying that their kids are losing their jobs because they’re taking care of me!”

But long-term care insurance can be expensive. Can Ms. Sturm, who makes less than $70,000 a year, manage that? And does it make sense?

“It is expensive but not having it is also expensive,” Ms. Overman said. She estimated that such coverage for Ms. Sturm would cost about $1,900 a year. “I bet you she’s paying that much in car insurance.”
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Sun 10 Jul, 2011 08:12 pm
@sozobe,
Ah, ok, I see what you're saying soz.

Frankly I haven't read the other thread, because I just didn't want to get depressed.

Funny out I (or other people) can be so proactive with most things in their lives, but this stuff makes you want to put a pillow over your head and sing "lalalalalala"
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jul, 2011 10:11 pm
@chai2,
chai2 wrote:


I sure can't lecture you mame, since I've taken my sweet time, but even strong horses step in rabbit holes.


We have a different system up here and I would be able (financially) to look after him as long as I was able to. Many things are provided to seniors at serious discounts or for free, but at any rate, we can afford to pay for what we need. We have saved and saved and have no debt.

We were just at his parents' for dinner and their out-of-town daughter is urging them to go into an assisted living place - out of misplaced guilt. The thing is, it'll cost them $5500 per month PLUS, and that is all their monthly income so they'd have nothing for going out for dinner, getting their hair done, travelling, family gifts, etc. That disturbs her quite a bit. They're both healthy-ish and active. They play bridge, go to plays and football games, walk their dogs, etc. She's 86, he's 89. She's just tired. Tired of cooking and housework. I suggested she just hire someone to come in once a week to do the laundry (they already have a VA cleaning lady and gardener) and take them shopping, to the doctor, etc. And there's public programs like Handidart which are like senior taxis that they could use. I also suggested frozen dinners - they have no taste buds left so it doesn't matter, and they are cheap (lol). At this point, they're not too worried about vitamins and all that. If they weren't so far away, I'd be doing all that for them.

Everything is do-able.
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jul, 2011 05:47 am
@chai2,
Understood on the lalala thing.

My folks are older (Dad turned 80 two months ago). Health issues have been on both of them, more so with one who I will not specify. They actually downsized quite a bit recently, looking to move into a smaller place. Then the sicker one got sick again, now that person is better, and the seller of the condo they had wanted hasn't done **** and so they are backing out of the condo purchase (nemmind that the family homestead had not yet been put up for sale, staged, etc. and they were living amongst boxes for months).

In the meantime, one thing I want to point out is that, at least here in the US, there is a reason to retire to a warmer clime even if you can take the cold -- the options for senior care improve the farther South you go. My folks want to stay in NY, and that is not doing them any favors.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jul, 2011 07:12 am
@Mame,
Mame wrote:

chai2 wrote:


I sure can't lecture you mame, since I've taken my sweet time, but even strong horses step in rabbit holes.


We have a different system up here and I would be able (financially) to look after him as long as I was able to. Many things are provided to seniors at serious discounts or for free, but at any rate, we can afford to pay for what we need. We have saved and saved and have no debt.

We were just at his parents' for dinner and their out-of-town daughter is urging them to go into an assisted living place - out of misplaced guilt. The thing is, it'll cost them $5500 per month PLUS, and that is all their monthly income so they'd have nothing for going out for dinner, getting their hair done, travelling, family gifts, etc. That disturbs her quite a bit. They're both healthy-ish and active. They play bridge, go to plays and football games, walk their dogs, etc. She's 86, he's 89. She's just tired. Tired of cooking and housework. I suggested she just hire someone to come in once a week to do the laundry (they already have a VA cleaning lady and gardener) and take them shopping, to the doctor, etc. And there's public programs like Handidart which are like senior taxis that they could use. I also suggested frozen dinners - they have no taste buds left so it doesn't matter, and they are cheap (lol). At this point, they're not too worried about vitamins and all that. If they weren't so far away, I'd be doing all that for them.

Everything is do-able.


In Canada, what happens if/when assisted living is no longer doable?

I think, for what it's worth, SIL jumped the gun suggesting the $5500 assisted living, when all they need, as you said, is a housekeeper, frozen meals, etc.

What happens when a person becomes incontinent (I don't mean just needing Depends, I mean no control, and they can't clean themselves, and neither can the person living with you), starts taking falls, maybe breaking a hip (or even if they don't, they keep falling)

Even if you need an assisted living place, that can only go so far.

If would be great if people can live a mostly independant life, and when the downhill comes, have it be quick and so sudden that everyone is shocked (but they were Fine last month! Now they're dead!" That would be a blessing.

Unfortunately, a person can go on in an increasingly debilitated state for years.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jul, 2011 07:33 am
@chai2,
There are lots of govt-funded homes here, from assisted living right up to long-term care, and some of the private homes set aside a few govt-funded rooms. Increased nursing and care are provided in the LTC homes, and the patient just pays what they have - if you don't have much or any $$, you have to see a govt geriatric social worker and they organize it. There are longer waiting lists for govt-funded spots, but they are there. More and more homes are being built all the time since families can't or won't look after their aged family.
JPB
 
  3  
Reply Mon 11 Jul, 2011 07:36 am
I think you should investigate LTC insurance. Rather than shelter your assets so that he qualifies for a Medicaid facility, those same $$$ that you spend on the trust could be used to pay the LTC premiums which would enable him to get long term care in a much better setting/facility.

I don't know about Texas, but Medicaid qualified patients don't get into the nicest places (or even the semi-nice places) and if there are no Medicaid beds available in your community they're shipped off to another community to get a bed there.

LTC policies have a waiting period of 180 days (maybe it's 90) so you can't wait until he needs the care and then find insurance that covers it immediately. Like life insurance, the younger he is when you take out the policy the lower the premiums are. I'm at high risk for needing long term care so I took a policy out on myself about five years ago. I don't have one on Mr B but I'll get one eventually.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jul, 2011 07:38 am
@Mame,
Sounds much more civilized on the Wet Coast than here in Ontario. The long waiting lists are so long, people can die before they get into govt-funded accommodation.

You don't want to be old and poor in Ontario.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  2  
Reply Mon 11 Jul, 2011 07:51 am
@chai2,
Sorry, I just reread your OP and you don't want this to be a discussion of options. You asked about guilt. No, I don't have any such guilt. I'm the older and less healthy of the two of us. I've done what I can to protect our assets in the event that it's me that needs the care. I haven't done anything yet toward LTC for Mr B. That's something we need to do - I'll add it to the long list of things I'm not spending money on until he finds employment.

My eldest sister was in a very similar situation to yours. She was significantly younger than her husband and was the primary breadwinner. I have no idea if she carried LTC insurance for him but when his many health issues became too much for her/him he entered hospice and she took care of him at home for about four months before he died. I believe he was in his early 80s at the time and she was in her early 60s.

Edit: I'll also add that I have NO interest in living for as long as I can live just for the sake of doing so. The idea of languishing for years is an anthema to me. I'd rather be dead. I'd much rather enter hospice care and live out the rest of my days without pain than enter into a LTC situation that results in languishing for years.
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jul, 2011 08:13 am
@chai2,
chai2 wrote:


What happens when a person becomes incontinent (I don't mean just needing Depends, I mean no control, and they can't clean themselves, and neither can the person living with you), starts taking falls, maybe breaking a hip (or even if they don't, they keep falling)

....


Unfortunately, a person can go on in an increasingly debilitated state for years.



I would be under hospice care before it ever came to that.
 

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