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Old 01-24-2018, 04:10 PM
 
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Since the company is eliminating her job, she should be eligible to receive unemployment insurance from the state for awhile. It may not be a lot, but it should help while she is transitioning into another job. Your aunt sounds like a stable person who has managed her finances and work life well. I'm sure she'll figure out the best course to take and will land on her feet.
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Old 01-24-2018, 05:55 PM
 
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She would probably end up on the exchanges after COBRA. The exchange may be preferable anyway. Not sure I understand the last point? With the severance, her income shouldn't drop this year. She won't get subsidies at her current level of pay. A $10/hr job just throws more pay on top of that.

If you're thinking of four months of a good job + $10/hr job being low enough for subsidies, probably not. I received only a minimal subsidy back in 2013 when I was making $12/hr and had a plan on the exchange
I suspect the Cobra is much better insurance. It's a moot point if she's not eligible for subsidies, but I will say my monthly subsidy went from $100 in 2013 to $1400 this year.

If jobs in the $10 - 12 hr range are plentiful she can focus her search on jobs with health insurance.
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Old 01-24-2018, 07:19 PM
 
Location: Metropolis IL
1,597 posts, read 1,891,465 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
I'll try to keep this short. Will post more details tomorrow if people have questions.

I went to dinner with aunt tonight. She's 56 - widowed, in a "club sandwich" taking care of my grandmother and her step-grandson. She's a manager of a billing office for a major cable company. The Tennessee offices have basically been closed down and those jobs sent to NYC, St. Louis, or Charlotte. She's hanging on, but is unwilling to move to any of those markets due to family obligations. She's worked with the cable company and has survived multiple consolidations and layoffs as local providers were gobbled up until now she works for a national name.

She's inherited some money (I don't know how much) from her late husband, who has been gone for eight years. He was at the "bottom of a waterfall" of inheritance money himself, and his first wife died back in 1999.

Everything is paid off. At her age, she's not completely financially independent without taking a major lifestyle hit. She will never make what she does now in this area. The local economy is simply too weak and shallow. She won't relocate on the account of the little boy. Her stepson (the father) and the mother are full blown worthless.

She's supposed to get a year's severance from the cable company based on her years of service. She's never had to search for jobs. I created a resume for her and sent it to regional media companies based out of Knoxville, Charlotte, and Greenville, SC. She's had interview opportunities, but is so hesitant to move. She wants to just sit here and wait on the severance - I think she should look for a good job, and if one presents itself, take it rather than idling around here.

Put yourself in her shoes. You're in your 50s and in a club sandwich caregiving scenario. You're too young to retire and not quite financially independent for that length of time. You're too old and too expensive to be hired locally in this lousy local market. You've never lived outside of Appalachia and have no idea what mainstream USA is.

What do you do? Stay here and take something for $10/hr? Relocate the elderly woman with you wherever you get a job? Bury your head in the sand and pray to the Lord?
Tread water at $10 an hour and wait for SS. Does she have a pension or 401k awaiting?

For a person at age 56, who has never lived in a large metro area, the adjustment could be just as traumatic as being unemployed and remaining in their hometown.
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Old 01-24-2018, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Metropolis IL
1,597 posts, read 1,891,465 times
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Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
It's somebody else's turn with your grandmother and the step-grandchild. If your aunt has to move to find work, that's how it goes. Why should other people's bad decisions destroy your aunt's life? 56 and unemployed with $10/hour jobs as your only option is an express ticket to elderly poverty. A year of severance pay is going to vaporize pretty quickly.
If she's worked all her life, and given she lives in a low COL area, her SS should prevent "an express ticket to elderly poverty".
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Old 01-24-2018, 07:33 PM
 
Location: Metropolis IL
1,597 posts, read 1,891,465 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
She has Crohn's and other health issues. She can't access her savings without penalty yet. COBRA will eat her alive.

Obviously having no or minimal income at 56, with a dependent elderly mother and basically having to act as a mom to a 5 year old, is not an ideal situation.
Given the health issues, age, and the publicized skills of disability attorneys in your neck of the woods, SSDI may be an option.
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Old 01-24-2018, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Metropolis IL
1,597 posts, read 1,891,465 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
I think this is how it will end up. I don't see many other options.

Grandmother is still living alone in the home she's lived in for fifty years, but really cannot do so fully. She's had worsening mobility issues for the past year or two, barely drives, and is going through a full knee replacement in February. Aunt kicked the daughter-in-law out to make room for grandma, but is trying to keep the little boy in a stable situation. Grandmother will be going to HealthSouth for a period of time. If she cannot at least get to the restroom and such afterward, she'll have to go to a nursing home. Aunt is not capable of picking her up. I had been mowing, cleaning, and all that for grandmother last year, but I live in Johnson City now. I stop by once or twice a week during the week to check on her and bring groceries, get the trash, and do small stuff around the house.

If grandmother can't live in the house independently and if aunt is willing to take her in full time, grandmother's house needs to be sold. Aunt has a townhome that is much better for a mobility-limited senior than grandmother's tri-level.

Aunt seems to want to wait around on the year's severance, then start looking for work. That puts her on a more aggressive timetable of having to find something. It's also easier to find a job when you're currently employed. She's had a couple of call backs from Knoxville. I'm hoping those come through with something. I'd feel much more comfortable with them both in Knoxville than grandma living in a house with stairs in rural Sullivan County and aunt out of work here for who knows how long.

I don't think aunt keeping the little boy is permanent. Stepson/DIL need to either get back together or divorce. DIL is 30 and has never so much as lived on her own before. She needs to get it together and provide a life for her son.
All I can figure out is you enjoy dealing with all this family drama that you post here on a somewhat regular basis. If this was parents are siblings, I could understand. When it comes to aunts and irresponsible offspring and such, a line must be drawn. If I was of your age and abilities, I would distance myself from these train wrecks as far as possible. Both literally and figuratively.

My mother was one of nine siblings. The majority of my aunts and uncles have produced cousins, that over the decades have had dysfunctional families that are never ending multi-generational soap operas. If I had stuck my nose in that sewer 30 years ago, I dread to think the financial and emotional distress it would have caused me.
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Old 01-24-2018, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Metropolis IL
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Originally Posted by bpollen View Post
What "elderly woman" are you speaking of? The 56 year old? LOL. 56 is not old. Not by a longshot.

I changed jobs at 58. When that didn't work out, I did contract work for a year and a half...and I got a couple of job offers from that (but I didn't want a permanent job...I was moving).

She's going to spend her life taking care of others....and then what? The boy will grow up and forget her name. I can't count the times I've seen that happen. And she won't believe it, if you tell her. Nonetheless, it will likely happen. She may be in a nursing home one day, and that boy will never even go to see her.

Grandma will be deceased. So your aunt will be left alone, having sacrificed for others, with no one to help HER, if she needs it. I've seen this before.

If I were grandma, I'd try to figure out what I want for the rest of my life, and decide what to do accordingly. If she doesn't want to leave, she'll never be happy leaving. In that case, I'd get a job locally. Whatever I could get, for as much $$ as possible.

Does she get health ins. from her company? That's the biggest problem. Health ins. on the individual market is VERY expensive.

But if it were me...I would move. But I'm the sort who CAN move on my own somewhere. She is not, apparently.

The reality is, if a person needs a good paying job and job opportunities, then a person has to move to where the jobs are, if the local economy isn't good enough.

A word of warning to you. Don't take on someone else's problems. Life will throw you enough curves of your own to handle. You don't have the power to make decisions for your aunt, anyway. Only SHE can decide her way forward. Only SHE knows what will make her happy. You trying to manage her, or anyone else's, life may lead to hard feelings between you, as she fails to take your advice or do what you think is the logical thing.

So...I would move. (but that's me)
If I couldn't handle moving, I would get a job locally. Some $ is better than no money.

When you're older, you CAN get a new job if you have a good work history, some good skills or vocation, and you LOOK and ARE healthy. And if you've kept up with technology.

The older people who can't get jobs seem to me to look to be in bad health (obese, pale, walk slowly) and/or don't have a good work history and/or don't have definite skills or a definite vocation. If they're competing with the general public for a min. wage job that anyone could do, an older person will have trouble getting the job. Or if the job involves physicality, an older person is at a disadvantage (standing all day, moving boxes in inventory, etc.).
If I was the aunt, I would offload grandma and the boy onto the taxpayers. But that's just me. I dine at the government trough if and when available. Let the mayhem begin.
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Old 01-24-2018, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Metropolis IL
1,597 posts, read 1,891,465 times
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Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Too old to be hired. Too young to retire. What do you in your 50s?

You get creative and 're-invent' yourself. Millions do it (very successfully).

OP's relative has many options. I cannot believe how fixated OP is on the 'downside' of Kingsport, TN and Tri-Cities. It is not hard to find thousands of very well off, intelligent, engaged, successful professions, self employed, and retirees in that region. I have more than 10 scientists / engineers in my email address book well employed and loving Kingsport and raising their families there INTENTIONALLY! One of my previous interns took a job last yr in Kingsport and loves the area and people. It will remain on my radar as an option for a retirement destination.

YMMV (apparently) but this may also lead to the perceived 'disaster' region () which having been there 2 - 3x / yr for past 15 yrs has not become apparent to me. I spend a lot of time with locals (rural dwellers) so still engaged / exposed to the 'hill folks'. I don't find it significantly different than most semi rural places in USA. Some good, some bad... Plenty of opportunities if you DIG for them.
Agreed. His consistent portrayal of the area as a desolate small town is somewhat overblown. It's part of a metro area with a population of over 300,000. While not in the same category as a major population center of several million, it's hardly as bleak as many isolated rural areas throughout the country.
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Old 01-24-2018, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Metropolis IL
1,597 posts, read 1,891,465 times
Reputation: 2338
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
I know the how of it. What I am asking you is how many you think actually do it? But... I think I have my answer. However, there is this: when >85% of the test takers fail an exam, the good professor(s) either revise the exam or else grades the class on a curve. They do not publish an op ed denigrating the intelligence of college students in general.
Interesting perspective.
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Old 01-24-2018, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Metropolis IL
1,597 posts, read 1,891,465 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
Nope. Tennessee doesn't have a state income tax. The cable companies pay lousy. That's all 22% to 24% bracket money. 6.2% for FICA and 1.45% for Medicare. About 30% will come off the top. It won't look all that different from a year of take home pay. In a paid-for house, you can stretch that a couple of years without having to eat rice & beans.
That brings up something that's missing. What is the aunt's salary at the cable company?
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