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Old 01-07-2016, 11:38 AM
 
3,175 posts, read 1,666,729 times
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I love my MIL dearly but she drives us crazy with her philosophy on money. She is 92 and in the near future will likely need some form of more formalized care (meaning beyond what family can do).

We were talking with her over the holidays about looking into some of the home care services in her area -- not even around the clock care but more like a few hours a day. She recently fell and is still healing from that, which kind of brought everything to the fore.

She said "I don't want to spend the money because i want to leave my money to my children." (meaning my husband and his siblings.)

My husband and I explained to her that that's not a responsible approach. We would rather her money be spent on HER needs at this stage of life. None of us are poor and we are all living well enough that we don't "want" for anything. We're not rich, but for all of us, if our furnace goes out, we have the means to pay for a new one immediately. So she should not have any guilt about us not getting an inheritance.

My dad on the other hand has a much more pragmatic attitude. With my mother now in a nursing home because her care requirements are too great for home care, my dad recognizes that he needs to allocate whatever assets he has to his care. He and I have the understanding that there may be nothing left by the time he leaves this world, and I don't have the expectation of an inheritance because that may not be possible. I am grateful for his approach.
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Old 01-07-2016, 01:20 PM
 
3,758 posts, read 10,633,208 times
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It seems to be very hard for a lot of the elderly - especially those that grew up in depression time - to accept that someone would rather they spent the money.

I think because money may have been so hard to come by in their childhood, that they think that is the best thing they can do for their loved ones - leave money behind.

Your MIL is likely not unusual in feeling that way.

Hopefully you can get her to understand that the best gift she could leave you, is her own security and health/care in her old age / final days. That removes a mental worry from you, and that's worth more than a few thousand dollars in inheritance after she's gone.
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Old 01-07-2016, 06:10 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
5,188 posts, read 13,350,483 times
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Hubby had that issue with his mom...got to the point where we couldn't help her at home like she needed to be helped. She tried living with her daughter..that didn't work, so reluctantly, she moved into an assisted living place...she LOVED it! She became the President of the residents! It was good for her, and us! Yes...it took a bunch of her money, but what else is your money for???
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Old 01-07-2016, 06:33 PM
 
14,253 posts, read 15,327,070 times
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It is a generational thing and we went through it with my mother. Remember, these are people who lived through the Depression. By the time my mother had to go into the Care Home her cognitive ability had declined to the point that she was happy when I said "I have it covered" and "it is on direct debit".

There is no easy way to deal with it other than being assertive and taking control. Easier said than done, I know.
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Old 01-07-2016, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Maryland
912 posts, read 646,850 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Briolat21 View Post
It seems to be very hard for a lot of the elderly - especially those that grew up in depression time - to accept that someone would rather they spent the money.

I think because money may have been so hard to come by in their childhood, that they think that is the best thing they can do for their loved ones - leave money behind.

Your MIL is likely not unusual in feeling that way.

Hopefully you can get her to understand that the best gift she could leave you, is her own security and health/care in her old age / final days. That removes a mental worry from you, and that's worth more than a few thousand dollars in inheritance after she's gone.
You took the words from my mouth.
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Old 01-08-2016, 12:07 AM
 
6,875 posts, read 7,273,507 times
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What's the actually math of the situation???
Obviously it depends on what her health needs continue to be, but realistically -- what's the likelihood that if she DOES start spending some on her care that she'll outlive her money??

She's 92. Is she LIEKLY to live another 10 years? Is she likely to need ALL her money for her care?
How much money are we talking about that she has?

She could give some to your husband and his sibs -- AND as long as they just PARK it, and NOT spend it. If mom never needs it for her care, then no harm no foul. And if she does, you all gave give it back, and spend it on her then.

What's her INCOME and what would her (initial) care cost? Could that come out of her INCOME and NOT her savings…if so, then she's still have some left over to leave for others. Who's to say her 'care" will ever be more than her income can support?

Maybe you can do some math that will show her -- she does have enough….to spend more on her care and not run out of money.

For example, if mom has 200K saved and can afford an aide out of monthly income, then why can't MIL give your husband ad the sibs…say 20K each (or just the 14K each to stay under annual gift tax)

Let's say MIL's gifts took her down to 150K….that would only be an issue if she ever, e v e n t u a l l y applied for MediCAID. And if if can get past the five year look back period then it's not an issue anyway.

Even 120K…heck mom could tap that 2K month and have it last 5 years.
All this is what I call "nominal care cost," A full-time live-in aide, nursing home, or burning though the money at 5K month or more -- and that's a completely different thing.

Ultimately though I don't see why she can't give you some now…..and if she needs it give it back or use it on her care, at that point.
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Old 01-09-2016, 03:50 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
11,160 posts, read 20,451,301 times
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My mom is like that about money...she won't spend any on my dad's care because she says it's her inheritance and she also wants to be able to leave money to her kids when she dies. I've told her I don't care if she spends every cent taking care of my dad and herself, to please not consider my inheritance when she's making financial choices about care.

My sister is the opposite of me...she was complaining really bitterly when my mom had some expensive dental work done. "She doesn't work anymore, why does she need teeth?" "That's my inheritance that's paying for her periodontist's new pickup truck," and so on. I told her she was being a horrible human being and I hoped she'd get over it.
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Old 01-09-2016, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Rutherfordton,NC
14,310 posts, read 9,064,637 times
Reputation: 9642
My mom refuses to even go to respite I can understand her not wanting to go into a nursing home though. Not to mention they cost and arm & a leg even if she had the money she would never go. In the end like my mom she wants to pass at home. I know I would.
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Old 01-09-2016, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,017 posts, read 17,335,191 times
Reputation: 41293
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgehog_Mom View Post
My mom is like that about money...she won't spend any on my dad's care because she says it's her inheritance and she also wants to be able to leave money to her kids when she dies. I've told her I don't care if she spends every cent taking care of my dad and herself, to please not consider my inheritance when she's making financial choices about care.

My sister is the opposite of me...she was complaining really bitterly when my mom had some expensive dental work done. "She doesn't work anymore, why does she need teeth?" "That's my inheritance that's paying for her periodontist's new pickup truck," and so on. I told her she was being a horrible human being and I hoped she'd get over it.
OMG! Doesn't your sister realize that your mother needs to eat (whether or not she still works is irrelevant to eating).
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Old 01-10-2016, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Staten Island, New York
3,681 posts, read 6,050,321 times
Reputation: 3621
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgehog_Mom View Post
My mom is like that about money...she won't spend any on my dad's care because she says it's her inheritance and she also wants to be able to leave money to her kids when she dies. I've told her I don't care if she spends every cent taking care of my dad and herself, to please not consider my inheritance when she's making financial choices about care.

My sister is the opposite of me...she was complaining really bitterly when my mom had some expensive dental work done. "She doesn't work anymore, why does she need teeth?" "That's my inheritance that's paying for her periodontist's new pickup truck," and so on. I told her she was being a horrible human being and I hoped she'd get over it.
Next time she says something, knock a few of hers out!
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