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Old 02-26-2017, 06:43 PM
Location: SW Florida
9,759 posts, read 7,035,798 times
Reputation: 14295


Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
Where in the country can you find an assisted living facility at a non-frightening place for $1,400/month? Pretty much anyone in assisted living needs meals and med management. Around me, a studio with those services at the cheapest possible place is $4,000. If you start layering on bathing (next most common), incontinence management, dressing, etc, it shoots up from there.

I manage my mother's affairs. She's in assisted living with severe short term memory loss issues. At her current burn rate, she's out of money in four years. I can't predict the future. All I can do is contingency plan. Right now, I'd rather spend her money to give her the best possible quality of life while she's able to live it. Worst case, my sister and I pick up that expense for a number of years.
I know $1400 is ridiculously low for an ALF, and the going rate for this place was quoted at about $3600/month when my mother first got there. Apparently they negotiate with the client so the price varies. I think my mother was paying $2500 a month-this because she doesn't need help with her meds, bathing, dressing, etc. She went into the ALF with a gentleman friend she had been living with, after his dementia got bad enough he could no longer live independently (he ended up much worse and in a nursing home elsewhere). She had been informed she could spend down her savings (by paying the $2500 monthly to the ALF), and would thereafter qualify for Medicaid and this would continue to fund her stay there. Well, the time came, she used all her money, and Medicaid has turned her down each time her case came up with them, seems they believe her health is too good to need that ALF/skilled nursing or whatever it is. But in the meantime, apparently the management at the ALF asked her how much she could afford to pay monthly, and she told them $1000/month, and they've accepted that. She pays most of the rest for her Part B medicare and some meds, and we supply anything else she needs. I've told her that if she needed to pay more we could cover the Part B medicare supplement, or anything else that comes up, and I mean it.

She's 90 yrs old and her mind is as sharp as a tack, (also as manipulative as ever, LOL), and both the staff and management in the ALF like her. She does little odd jobs as she can, ie, folding laundry, helping to take other residents to meals or other functions, and generally whatever she can to help out the staff, and they appreciate that help. It seems they consider her an asset to the place, so perhaps that's an even tradeoff for the "great bargain rate" she pays for being there.

I realize that we, and she are very lucky that she ended up in this setting, with her faculties intact (better than mine somedays, I swear), her bargaining and people skills honed. I never would have figured she could afford an ALF, I figured a senior subsidized apartment with lots of help-and we had actually moved her into a brand new one of those when she begged us to move her from PA to FL. Long story short, she thought the place was beneath her, didn't stay there, ended up in the ALF. But she's well taken care of there, has a nice little room with her own bathroom, has her meals, laundry, housekeeping taken care of, and she's safe.

But getting a ALF spot for $1000/month? That's my mother's bargaining/poormouthing/sweettalking skills. I have no idea how she does it, but she's managed to get her way all her life this way, and she's still going strong at 90 yrs.
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Old 02-26-2017, 08:14 PM
Location: Wasilla, AK
7,256 posts, read 4,143,320 times
Reputation: 15677
Originally Posted by matisse12 View Post
To be eligible for SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program):

'Households may have $2,250 in countable resources, such as a bank account, or $3,250 in countable resources if at least one person is age 60 or older, or is disabled.'

that's straight from SNAP's website. So you have to be dirt poor in terms of savings.

(they do allow you to own a house, just not to have savings over the above amounts)
This almost forces you into a rental situation. You can't even have a reserve fund to pay for high expense items like a new furnace or a new roof. And houses owned by people in such dire financial straits most likely aren't going to be new and trouble-free.
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Old 02-27-2017, 03:58 AM
71,587 posts, read 71,751,865 times
Reputation: 49194
one thing that i always find interesting is how people love the " we are failing topics "

they love doing the what if's, poking their nose in to other's finances yet neglect learning fully about their own situation . .
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Old 02-27-2017, 04:08 AM
Location: Ypsilanti, MI
2,439 posts, read 3,665,541 times
Reputation: 4805
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
most stories never have happy endings when children have to support the parents . you are lucky . we have done everything we could including making sure we have long term care insurance so we never saddle our kids with supporting us .

we don't want anyone of them to take a financial hit , a career hit or a social hit because we planned badly
Same here. Our biggest challenge now is our own siblings who are rapidly approaching their retirement years with zero savings. Looked at buying an inexpensive duplex that two of them could then rent from us at low rates. There are numerous problems with that, the least of which might be the IRS restrictions.

Last edited by MI-Roger; 02-27-2017 at 04:28 AM..
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Old 02-27-2017, 04:15 AM
2,075 posts, read 1,464,263 times
Reputation: 3322
Originally Posted by TMKSarah View Post
What do you think will happen to the retired population that runs out of money before they die?

It's such an utter shame that we ask this question in America.
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Old 02-27-2017, 04:15 AM
Location: Ypsilanti, MI
2,439 posts, read 3,665,541 times
Reputation: 4805
Originally Posted by jasperhobbs View Post
WOW. SSI is below poverty level. Who could live on that amount.
It was, and still is, intended to be a supplement to personal savings and pensions for a person's retirement years. A stable three legged stool; Social Security, Pensions, Personal Savings.

Pensions are gone and replaced with 401(k) plans. Those who did not create personal savings do not have 401(k) plans either. Too many will find their retirement years supported by only Social Security.
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Old 02-27-2017, 04:25 AM
71,587 posts, read 71,751,865 times
Reputation: 49194
Originally Posted by Led Zeppelin View Post
It's such an utter shame that we ask this question in America.
retirement here is a privilege for those who can self sustain , not a right . the gov't puts a safety net in place but was never intended to support you .
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Old 02-27-2017, 04:29 AM
Location: Knoxville, TN
1,249 posts, read 590,916 times
Reputation: 2749
Retirement is not a privilege when age discrimination or poor health prevents people from getting a job. It isn't as if everyone has a choice. I still hear people near my age (60) saying they will have to "work forever" due to limited finances. This is not going to be realistic for most of them.
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Old 02-27-2017, 04:31 AM
71,587 posts, read 71,751,865 times
Reputation: 49194
you may wish it was a right , for those reasons , however it is not .

retirement here is based on the YOYO plan . " you're on you're own "

unless you want to make do living on just ss and whatever gov't assistance you can get . more and more seniors will be doing the golden girl's thing and cost sharing if they have to .

in the end folks should spend more time worrying about their own plan and less about what others have or don't have .

like water , money always seeks its own level . people have been living just on ss since it existed and they make it work .
those with smaller asset bases ( not poor ) need to know even more than the wealthy so they have the most efficient plan for what they do have .

but most spend more time reading articles and wasting time in forums discussing what everyone else has or does not have or how bad we are supposedly doing vs learning in constructive places how to make their own plan better and the pitfalls they are headed for with what their plan is .

the less you have the more important structuring , tax planning and the right investments become so you can maximize what you have .

few people really have that kind of understanding nor the interest in learning so they could have that knowledge .. they run on myth , mis-information from other financially ignorant people or old wives tales . the rest just don't care .

a prime example is a single person who is just below the threshold for getting their social security taxed . they can make the mistake unknowingly of taking just 1k extra from an ira and having that extra 1k get hit with an effective marginal tax rate of 47% . that happens because the extra 1k got their ss taxed . poor planning saw almost 1/2 that extra 1k vanish .

so retirement tax planning is not just for the wealthy . those with lower means need that knowledge even more but few americans seek that knowledge . they rather read how badly everyone is supposedly doing . .

Last edited by mathjak107; 02-27-2017 at 05:12 AM..
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Old 02-27-2017, 05:30 AM
Location: Colorado Springs
4,840 posts, read 4,956,944 times
Reputation: 17309
How does the rest of the world deal with this issue?

Mostly by having 3 generations living in one house. Grandma is always around and she helps out with baby sitting, cooking, and cleaning. She provides continuity with the family history, tells her grand kids family stories to give them a sense of their place in society. She teaches them the family culture. It's really a win win for the family.

As she ages, her family takes care of her. It is an honor. Sending her off to "the home" is never a consideration.

Although it might be a goal for every retiree to have saved a large enough pile of money to live independently from their kids, it's not really necessary. For most of the world, it's not even desirable.
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