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Silver Conversationalist

RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement?

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Message 91 of 144

In Response to RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement? by ASTRAEA

Then you should know that "Thirty-two U.S. states pay for care in assisted living facilities through their Medicaid waiver programs"

New Jersey is one of the members of such waivers

Why are you perplexed at what I wrote?

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Treasured Social Butterfly

RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement?

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Message 92 of 144

In Response to RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement? by SLEEPERCELL

Absolutely; why wouldn't she have paid ALL of her bills?!

Once she went into the nursing home, I handled her finances. Not only did she pay the basic bills for the facility, but paid out-of-pocket for PT 5x/week because it wasn't covered by her HMO. I also made sure the little luxuries were covered for her .. that she wouldn't have treated herself to .. salon & manicures .. I just told her she could afford it & never mentioned how much they cost; she really did deserve that!


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Silver Conversationalist

RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement?

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Message 93 of 144

In Response to RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement? by ASTRAEA

Did she pay ALL her bills?

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Treasured Social Butterfly

RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement?

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Message 94 of 144

In Response to RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement? by kom2010

My grandparents bought their home in 1928, moving their family of 6 children into it. Guess what happened the very next year .. the crash .. and they didn't have enough to make full payment on their mortgage. They went to the bank & explained that they'd pay as much as they possibly could, and with the Depression the bank probably wouldn't find anyone else with the money to buy the house, if it was foreclosed. The bank agreed with them, and let them keep it.

Whether or not that would work today, my grandparents & mom's generations believed that you always had more security in being a homeowner. Even if you had financial trouble, you could still buy more time, than if you were a renter & stopped paying the rent.

I've you're doing what's best for your MIL, and she accepts your guidance, it's probably best to let her keep her memories & fantasies about her old home .. as long as she doesn't complain too much. I think some people reach an age or mental state, where being totally realistic is too frightening for them. As long as they let trusted relatives help them do the right thing, it might be better not trying to force them to see reality.


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Regular Social Butterfly

RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement?

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Message 95 of 144

I think that to make sweeping generalities about the Boomers, a large and very socio-economically fractured generation, is not going to be completely valid.

One thing about living in CA is that we are your future. No, you may not like that, but try to get over it. What happens here very often predicts what is going to happen elsewhere. We are usually 10-15 yrs ahead of 'the curve'.

Times are bad for some; unnerving for many (but who are still coping just fine); and many aren't affected much, if at all. I know quite a number of younger Boomers who made far more $$$ than they expected to, and either went into business for themselves or retired young. Many other high-income Boomers are still working, either because they enjoy it or because they still have kids to put through college. 

Of the middle-class Boomers, most are shaken but the majority are still able to find work. It may not be the best-paying of their career, but they remain employed. They are paying their bills, making their mortgage payments (some do have paid-off homes, like my sister and I), and soldiering on. They may have to delay or wait until their full retirement age, instead of the Boomer dream of taking early retirement. That's not the end of the world, and they know it. They still can take a vacation or meet a friend for drinks.

I have personally never understood the clinging to house/home that most people have. I see it, but the idea leaves DH and I indifferent. We enjoy our home, and I love gardening, but I don't want to be dealing with all this upkeep twenty years from now. It's four walls and a roof, not the essence of my being or our reason for living.

We listen to MIL's wistful yearnings for her former home of 38 yrs and roll out eyes. Why surround yourself with the ghosts of past happiness when you can create a new happiness now?

We can't help her, only ourselves. If people don't see that their senior years are a series of phases dependent upon one's (and spouse's, if there is one) physical health, then those people are doomed to repeat the same mistakes many of the WWII generation made and are making.

In our past DH and I have run up a lot of debt when young, made some wrong financial decisions, but worked out of it. We realized we needed a plan, and were able to benefit from good professional advice when we needed it. Now we see that good financial planning isn't just the typical "save your money, pay cash, etc. etc.". There is far more to it nowadays.

Financial planning involves more than an amount. If you don't have enough money to choose from attractive alternatives as you age, THEN YOU DID NOT PLAN WELL. No matter how much money you saved in the bank! Did you think you were going to be in good health forever? That you would never suffer a degenerative or crippling disease? That bad things never happen to good people who count pennies? Wow, there's my MIL, folks.

MIL sighs over her house, while we shudder over contemplating what it would have been like as she aged. She didn't have enough cash, despite a pension, retiree health benefits, and SocSec. Her home was a nightmare for accessibility, and you just don't want to mess with building permits in San Francisco unless you've got lots of extra time and money. MIL was getting by for a while, but one roof replacement and any need for home healthcare would have sunk her into debt. Now she's got sufficient funds for any kind of care she needs.

People not as fortunate will do what they have to do - choose the least painful or most affordable scenario. This may involve some going overseas. Others will adjust their expectations and look for better solutions. The impetus for co-housing is growing, although that is not a cure-all for the entire senior/elder care issue.

Studies have shown that some of the poorest elderly are the happiest....possibly because they have come to realize that small pleasures are just as important as large ones. Why should anyone assume that Boomers or Millennials are not going to learn those same lessons, in the end?

It is the WWII generation, after all, that had some of the very biggest dreams of all - that winning a war meant world peace, that the enemy to be feared could be defeated by a tank, that Big Business knew best, that incomes would always rise and prosperity/material possessions were proof the American Way was the best way for everyone.

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Treasured Social Butterfly

RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement?

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Message 96 of 144

In Response to RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement? by sandpiper99

Years ago, someone close was complaining about the high cost of a senior residence for a parent, implying that the parent's money would run out, and they wouldn't be able to remain in their nice facility. But when $ help offered within the family, it came out that the concern was that the $$ would be used up by the parent for their needs, so nothing would be left for their children. I'm sure they were sorry they hadn't thought of shifting money before the look-back period kicked in.

That incident is what bothers me about attitudes. While it's wonderful for people to have assets to pass on to family members, that's not an "entitlement" to be gained by moving/hiding funds .. so that taxpayers pick up the tab for facilities via Medicaid.


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Silver Conversationalist

RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement?

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Message 97 of 144

In Response to RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement? by ASTRAEA

If you can pay your own way in an assisted living or nursing home, that enables you to keep any and all assets. If you cannot and need to be on Medicade to stay, THEN you have to strip yourself of assets, including turning over your monthly Social Security check. You are allowed  to keep a minimal amount (under $25, used to be) and about $1500 in a bank. Amounts may have changed; it was years ago now when I investigated for my mom. I decided to keep her at home where I KNEW she would be well-cared for. (Another topic for discussion, at least where I live.)

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RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement?

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Message 98 of 144

In Response to RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement? by SLEEPERCELL

Can you explain your statement:

"What I find particularly disturbing is for seniors that must go into an assisted living or nursing home environment is that they must strip themselves of their wealth and lifetime assets that they have accumulated. It's an ugly game being played."

My aunt went into a nursing home after hip replacement, to regain her strength with additional PT. She was there for almost 6 months, until she died of a heart problem. She just had to pay 2 months deposit to start, then was billed monthly.


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RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement?

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Message 99 of 144

In Response to RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement? by krlklar

Karl I agree with you 100%. I'm not giving up my garden, space, privacy and lifetime work of making home what it is.

Boomers were/are a reckless generation (IMHO) and my past arguments still stand in what and how I think any senior should be treated. One thing many boomers never learned was how to PRESERVE WEALTH.  I think I have learned and exercised my options in this regard.

Still, it's (Preserving Wealth) akin to having one foot in the fire and the other in the frying pan. What I find particularly disturbing is for seniors that must go into an assisted living or nursing home environment is that they must strip themselves of their wealth and lifetime assets that they have accumulated. It's an ugly game being played.

I wonder and worry about my daughter in what she is going to face in this new world of economic instability with a government gone wild on spending and many Americans clueless about the potential bang ahead of us.

And BTW yes, you've pegged me in that class but I grew up with depression survivors both sets of Grandparents, Parents, Aunts - Uncles having made it through the Great Depression with words of warning and advice all my life: There are only two kinds of sensible debt: a mortgage that you can afford and a loan for a car to get to work if necessary. The other warnings were simple: don't borrow money to buy what you can't pay for and SAVE YOUR MONEY. I have told my daughter this most of her life with my added warning: NEVER BORROW MONEY FOR A BUSINESS AGAINST YOUR HOME. (Another Boomer Peril)

It's worked well for me.

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RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement?

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Message 100 of 144

In Response to RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement? by krlklar

In New Jersey, a newer townhouse or condo can often cost more than a person/couple will get by selling their older home, especially if they've already downsized into a smaller house. I have a few friends who'd like to move into a condo or townhouse, but they can't afford either the purchase price or HOA fees!


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