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Old 04-28-2014, 07:02 AM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,917,951 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Good point. There are also "independent living" facilities which resemble assisted living facilities but without the personal help with bathing/dressing/etc. My mother lived in one the last two months of her life. Included in the rent were two meals a day in the dining hall (although her apartment had a small kitchen and a refrigerator), once-a-week maid service which included washing the towels and sheets, and a van which provided trips to the market and to doctors' appointments. There was a beauty parlor on-site and my sister and I thought the whole set-up was very nice. One could transition to actual "assisted" living (for an increased price, of course) in the same complex.

Although my mother had stopped driving before moving in there, some of the residents still drove. The drivers probably didn't really need to be there, but I respected their wisdom in choosing a situation in which many things were taken care of before it became absolutely necessary.
We have those "independent senior living facilities" here too. My father has lived in one since 2006. It's pretty much like a regular townhouse - with some "senior friendly" things in the units (like grab bars and walk-in showers) and the amenities you describe. "Independent senior living facilities" can be less or more expensive than ALFs - depending on the nature of the place/size of the unit/available amenities/etc. One requirement in terms of renting is getting a doctor's note to the effect that the prospective resident is capable of living independently (and doesn't need the kinds of help that one finds in an ALF or SNF). Robyn
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Glenbogle
730 posts, read 1,026,267 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
It is true that if you have $300,000 in cash, not including the value of your home and retirement account funds, you would not be considered low income.
But Maryland does not call it a "low income" tax break; it's called the Homestead Tax Credit in and in fact it's available to anyone regardless of their age. The state of Maryland does not give any property tax break to seniors specifically.

Also, retirement funds ARE counted in the assets: "Income from all sources must be reported whether or not the monies received are included as income for Federal and State income tax purposes. Nontaxable retirement benefits such as Social Security and Railroad Retirement must be reported as income for the tax credit program. Generally, eligibility for the tax credit will be based upon all monies received in the applicant's household in a given year."

details: MD Homeowners Tax Credit
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Florida and New England
1,227 posts, read 1,416,145 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lily4 View Post
Since most people don't have this amount of money, what happens to all of these people when they can't afford assisted living facilities? Surely, the majority won't be kicked to the curb. Maybe it will be like the old days when family took care of their elderly and is that such a bad thing? My grandmother always lived with us and had various health problems....
What will happen in the future is likely similar to what happens now with people who don't have money or family who will take them in. Once the elderly cannot maintain a minimal level of self-care, the government intervenes, selling all of their remaining assets, and puts them in a home paid by Medicaid. The Medicaid homes can be anywhere from dreadful to satisfactory, depending on location. I've never seen one that I would call active-lifestyle or deluxe.

I don't call it "kicked to the curb," but it is not a pleasant way to go, and it is the final waypoint (you don't get released from a Medicaid home).
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:06 AM
 
8,181 posts, read 11,900,573 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StressedOutNYer View Post
But Maryland does not call it a "low income" tax break; it's called the Homestead Tax Credit in and in fact it's available to anyone regardless of their age.
Yes, but that's just semantics. The credit for the most part is based upon a person's income. The purpose of the program is to give a tax break to individuals or households whose income and/or assets don't exceed a certain threshold. It basically goes to those households whose income is significantly less than the average household income for the state.
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Old 04-28-2014, 07:29 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,213,572 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StressedOutNYer View Post
But Maryland does not call it a "low income" tax break; it's called the Homestead Tax Credit in and in fact it's available to anyone regardless of their age. The state of Maryland does not give any property tax break to seniors specifically.

Also, retirement funds ARE counted in the assets: "Income from all sources must be reported whether or not the monies received are included as income for Federal and State income tax purposes. Nontaxable retirement benefits such as Social Security and Railroad Retirement must be reported as income for the tax credit program. Generally, eligibility for the tax credit will be based upon all monies received in the applicant's household in a given year."

details: MD Homeowners Tax Credit
The income from a retirement account counts as "income", the funds in the retirement account do NOT count as "income". One must satisfy both the income and asset tests to qualify for the reduction. To be eligible in Baltimore County the maximum annual income is $60,000. The maximum amount of countable assets is $200,000. Ex: If I have less than $60,000 income per year, $1+ million in retirement accounts, <$200,000 in a non-retirement account and own a home assessed at $300,000, I would qualify for a reduction.

Many of the retirees in my neighborhood choose to pay off their mortgages (transferring the funds from a countable asset that requires additional income to a non-countable asset that does not require additional income) and live on less than $60,000/year income.

Of course, the above cited homeowners are not really "low income", even in Maryland.
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Subconscious Syncope, USA (Northeastern US)
2,367 posts, read 1,634,326 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcopolo View Post
OK, so I know some people who get along very well on Social Security plus maybe a small amount of savings or a small monthly pension. Needless to say, granite countertops and bathroom renos costing tens of thousands and meals at expense-account type restaurants, five star or four star hotels, bicycles costing thousands, new vehicles on a routine basis...none of these fit. They all have the ability to be cheaply amused, many garden or hunt or fish or all three, some pick up odd jobs from time to time, all live in modest homes of modest size with low utilities and property taxes. And they live in low cost areas where small older homes are inexpensive.

Health is a wildcard, but when that goes you've got nothing anyway. Sort of a problem for a couple, where the poor health of one can bankrupt the other.

More typically, I see people with $250k or $500k, getting along fine with 5% withdrawals. They will leave peak wealth to their children.

The notion that $1 million is not enough does not fit the people I know.
I think my husband and I could do just fine and be happy as two peas in a pod on $500K for the rest of our lives. But, we have simple ambitions. A cheap condo in a warm dry location is sufficient. Why do we need more than 2 bedrooms max? Why do I want to clean and maintain a large home - especially knowing that aside from an office (for what, I dont know), or a sewing room or something - we only need one bedroom and one bathroom?

Before a condo, we had planed on a small 'starter home'. I wanted some land to grow and can my own fresh vegetables, maybe raise some chickens for fresh eggs - but as we get closer to retirement, and older as each year passes by, the maintenence of a private home with a big lawn and yada yada seems less and less desireable to us.

Oddly, Ive watched people retire and go out and buy large 4 bedroom/3 bathroom homes, almost like they are seeking to now live a lifestyle they never enjoyed while they were young and more capable of maintaiining that type of lifestyle. Sometimes these people are even single. I can only think they plan to spend their golden years cleaning toilettes and dusting, lol.

If someone sees beauty in a marble countertop, god bless! For us, the things we seek in retirement dont cost much. A beautiful scenic view and the time to enjoy it without worrying about where our next meal is coming from costs little to nothing.

Sure, disasters happen. But, its hardly fair to spend what little time we have left consumed by 'what ifs'.

Last edited by ConeyGirl52; 04-28-2014 at 08:51 PM..
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:56 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
19,824 posts, read 18,832,665 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ConeyGirl52 View Post
I think my husband and I could do just fine and be happy as two peas in a pod on $500K for the rest of our lives. But, we have simple ambitions. A cheap condo in a warm dry location is sufficient. Why do we need more than 2 bedrooms max? Why do I want to clean and maintain a large home - especially knowing that aside from an office (for what, I dont know), or a sewing room or something - we only need one bedroom and one bathroom?

Before a condo, we had planed on a small 'starter home'. I wanted some land to grow and can my own fresh vegetables, maybe raise some chickens for fresh eggs - but as we get closer to retirement, and older as each year passes by, the maintenence of a private home with a big lawn and yada yada seems less and less desireable to us.

Oddly, Ive watched people retire and go out and buy large 4 bedroom/3 bathroom homes, almost like they are seeking to now live a lifestyle they never enjoyed while they were young and more capable of maintaiining that type of lifestyle. Sometimes these people are even single. I can only think they plan to spend their golden years cleaning, lol.

If someone sees beauty in a marble countertop, god bless! For us, the things we seek in retirement dont cost much. A beautiful scenic view and the time to enjoy it without worrying about where our next meal is coming from costs little to nothing.

Sure, disasters happen. But, its hardly fair to spend what little time we have left consumed by 'what ifs'.
Well said. I know one single person who retired and immediately bought a gorgeous home with many bedrooms, a huge kitchen/dining area, large living room, massive glassed in porch. She had moved out of a small ranch which would have been a better retirement choice.

Now she says she has no idea why she bought such a huge house. One thing she does have is a basement apartment and the tenants do the yardwork.

I usually see most people continuing to live the way they did when they were working except that they have more time to do the things they enjoy. Golf, eating out, socializing, some travel, hobbies, lessons. Assisted living scares me due to the almost impossible price but I only knew a few people who went that route. Most people were able to stay in their homes and pay for care--or had family who would provide care. I just hope I'm that lucky, to be able to stay at home. (as my friend was saying this weekend--we have to stay strong so Off To the Gym.)
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:07 PM
 
406 posts, read 369,848 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ConeyGirl52 View Post
Before a condo, we had planed on a small 'starter home'. I wanted some land to grow and can my own fresh vegetables, maybe raise some chickens for fresh eggs - but as we get closer to retirement, and older as each year passes by, the maintenence of a private home with a big lawn and yada yada seems less and less desireable to us.
We feel the same way...not interested in taking care of a large home, but didn't like the density, or the sometimes large fees of a condo. So, we found a duplex with a small yard. Our gardener charges only $30 per month since the yard is small. We have two bedrooms and two bathrooms in 900 -1,000 sf. It's easy to take care of and the neighborhood is nice. We didn't want a large home and yard...too much work and expense to maintain. We'd rather spend our time fishing and doing other things we enjoy.
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Old 04-30-2014, 01:59 PM
 
12,825 posts, read 20,126,238 times
Reputation: 10910
Quote:
Originally Posted by foglover View Post
Oh my, I'll probably get a lot of heat for this, but I want to emphasize that if I am guilty of anything it is merely stupidity. I am not trying to be offensive or confrontational.

Another caveat: It is overwhelmingly obvious that I know zip about economics. Money as subject matter is almost as boring as, oh let's see, as football. Bores me into catatonia.

In a current thread, a poster reveals her financial worth and asks if she has enough for retirement. It is a HUGE amount of money. And the talking money heads herein weighed in quite cautiously. IMO.

My question is this: what is all the money for? Let's assume that mortgage is paid and health insurance is in place. One is then left with the usual post-industrial necessities to pay for. Then what?

Travel seems to be a fetish that just keeps on collecting devotees. Okay, so most of the high rollers here can afford to travel. Then what?

All of us would like to have a healthy hedge against inflation. Okay. Then what?

Most folks, I hope, have some hobbies or recreational activities they indulge. Some can get expensive. Okay, but it is unlikely that anyone will be able to indulge those until they drop dead at 99.

I don't get it.
Assuming a person even has LTC, one must self support for 90 days in order for most policies to kick in. All I can say is, after seeing my dad's care bills during the end game, I made sure I had LTC in place and tightened the belt even more.
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Old 05-01-2014, 11:18 AM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,467,321 times
Reputation: 29071
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConeyGirl52 View Post
I think my husband and I could do just fine and be happy as two peas in a pod on $500K for the rest of our lives. But, we have simple ambitions. A cheap condo in a warm dry location is sufficient. Why do we need more than 2 bedrooms max? Why do I want to clean and maintain a large home - especially knowing that aside from an office (for what, I dont know), or a sewing room or something - we only need one bedroom and one bathroom?
When we retired we moved and bought a modest, 1,480 sq. ft., 3 bedroom, 1 bath home. That gives us a master bedroom, a guest room and "my" office in which the desktop computer lives that we both use. It also provides us with a storage closet that comes in real handy, a desk, safe, filing cabinet, bookcase and work table. More than one bathroom was something we considered essential and may become even more important as we age.

In the interest of full disclosure, we do have a housekeeper who comes in every two to three weeks which helps and doesn't break the bank. Thus far we can still manage the yards and gardening but may have to hire that out as well in the future. We do pay for heavy-duty outdoor projects. Oh, the joys of getting older!
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