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Gromdor

Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island plight

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Gromdor

An all to familiar story:  https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/personalfinance/gilligans-island-star-shares-a-cautionary-financial-tale/ar-BBMXR0J?li=BBnb7Kz

Luckily, due to her fame is she able to get help through GoFundMe, but most Americans aren't so lucky.

It does make me wonder.  Is GoFundMe going to be the future for the bulk of Americans with their medical woes?  On a personal level, I am having to deal with a similar issue with my Aunt and Uncle.  Everyone thinks they are fine and then "Wham" a major medical expense that ruins their lives.  2008 was terrible for Vietnam era retiree's retirement plans and then the medical emergencies.  I see it as a fundamental flaw in our society.  Is this going to be the fate of the bulk of our elderly?

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skliss

My uncle is a Vietnam vet/retiree/army lifer. He just entered a really great nursing home fully paid for by his benefits. Maybe your aunt and uncle aren't taking advantage of some available programs? Good luck helping them out. Sometimes it takes a while to wade thru the red tape.

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Gromdor
24 minutes ago, skliss said:

My uncle is a Vietnam vet/retiree/army lifer. He just entered a really great nursing home fully paid for by his benefits. Maybe your aunt and uncle aren't taking advantage of some available programs? Good luck helping them out. Sometimes it takes a while to wade thru the red tape.

They are stubborn.  They don't believe in bankruptcy or social programs.  They are paying $1500 worth of interest and minimum payment on credit cards and 1000$ a month mortgage with their social security and eating ramen noodles.  They cashed out their 401k in 2008 because they were scared they were going to lose it all and spent it on debt.  The uncle was still working at 72 until this medical emergency occurred.  He is looking at the possibility of being walker/wheelchair bound, yet their solution is for him to make a full recovery and go back to work.

Any financial aid I give them would be wasted on the debt and they will still be eating the ramen noodles.  I stocked their refrigerator and freezer with six months of food and promised them I would wait till the results of the surgery before intervening again.

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XenoFish

Too many fail to prepare for the worst. 

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Gromdor
4 minutes ago, XenoFish said:

Too many fail to prepare for the worst. 

You know, they had a good start.  He started with ma Bell and worked with the various baby bells- AT@T, Qwest, etc. They had the 401k, etc.  But 2008 just ruined them.

It's the same as Dawn Wells.  Good healthy start, did everything right and then 2008.

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XenoFish
2 minutes ago, Gromdor said:

You know, they had a good start.  He started with ma Bell and worked with the various baby bells- AT@T, Qwest, etc. They had the 401k, etc.  But 2008 just ruined them.

It's the same as Dawn Wells.  Good healthy start, did everything right and then 2008.

I'm not saying anything against them or anyone in general. Just making a blanket statement. Most people keep going without considering tomorrow might be a bad day. I lost my retirement to legal expenses. Plus I'm self-employed. So there it is highly likely that I'll be the 80 year old bagging groceries in the future.

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skliss
2 hours ago, Gromdor said:

They are stubborn.  They don't believe in bankruptcy or social programs.  They are paying $1500 worth of interest and minimum payment on credit cards and 1000$ a month mortgage with their social security and eating ramen noodles.  They cashed out their 401k in 2008 because they were scared they were going to lose it all and spent it on debt.  The uncle was still working at 72 until this medical emergency occurred.  He is looking at the possibility of being walker/wheelchair bound, yet their solution is for him to make a full recovery and go back to work.

Any financial aid I give them would be wasted on the debt and they will still be eating the ramen noodles.  I stocked their refrigerator and freezer with six months of food and promised them I would wait till the results of the surgery before intervening again.

What you did was great! Maybe check out the VA and other places with programs for them that they might not be aware of before talking to them about it. They might be more willing to take advantage of something that's out there if they feel they put into it and are just getting it back. 

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Gromdor
1 hour ago, skliss said:

What you did was great! Maybe check out the VA and other places with programs for them that they might not be aware of before talking to them about it. They might be more willing to take advantage of something that's out there if they feel they put into it and are just getting it back. 

I wish it were that easy.  I honestly can't imagine how anyone manages to talk their elderly relatives into seeking help or moving into a retirement home.  You are basically talking them into giving up life as they know it.  The worst part is that they are childless and they outlived their social network.  The nearest relative that can help (me) is 26 hrs away.

As horrible as all this sounds, I think they will come to terms with it given a bit of time.  But after talking with them and seeing the Dawn Wells case, it makes me wonder about the rest of the country.  If this is common place for our elderly, then it is pretty terrible.   

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skliss
On 9/7/2018 at 8:41 PM, Gromdor said:

I wish it were that easy.  I honestly can't imagine how anyone manages to talk their elderly relatives into seeking help or moving into a retirement home.  You are basically talking them into giving up life as they know it.  The worst part is that they are childless and they outlived their social network.  The nearest relative that can help (me) is 26 hrs away.

As horrible as all this sounds, I think they will come to terms with it given a bit of time.  But after talking with them and seeing the Dawn Wells case, it makes me wonder about the rest of the country.  If this is common place for our elderly, then it is pretty terrible.   

It is especially hard when they dont have children. One  of my Uncles passed away a few months ago and my Aunt has been lamenting ever since that they didn't have children. It would have been a source of comfort for her, in her mind, but he was adamant in never wanting any. Luckily my uncle was one of 7 kids and his siblings had many so we, her nieces and nephews, are around to keep an eye on her. Sorry you are on your own!  

Maybe presented with these programs as ready to go....signed up....they don't have to search or anything....and as something they've paid into their whole working career...or telling them it's temporary...might help. The only other thing I can say is that with 2 kids in college, Dollar Tree has been invaluable in keeping costs down. You'd be surprised at what you can get there for $1!

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Gromdor
16 minutes ago, skliss said:

It is especially hard when they dont have children. One  of my Uncles passed away a few months ago and my Aunt has been lamenting ever since that they didn't have children. It would have been a source of comfort for her, in her mind, but he was adamant in never wanting any. Luckily my uncle was one of 7 kids and his siblings had many so we, her nieces and nephews, are around to keep an eye on her. Sorry you are on your own!  

Maybe presented with these programs as ready to go....signed up....they don't have to search or anything....and as something they've paid into their whole working career...or telling them it's temporary...might help. The only other thing I can say is that with 2 kids in college, Dollar Tree has been invaluable in keeping costs down. You'd be surprised at what you can get there for $1!

  The uncle only did 4yrs in the service, so he isn't looking at the full array of benefits.  The biggest problem is the flat out refusal of any aid.  The aunt's older sisters and brothers planned their retirements correctly.  But now they are all retired with fixed incomes with minimum flexibility to help. However, I'm not exactly poor.  The problem is pride.  All the resources are there to help them, but for it to work they need to declare bankruptcy and (in their eyes) admit to the rest of the family that failed and need help.  Her elder sister is a hardcore life long personal responsibility, die-hard fiscal republican.  One of the biggest alarm bells is when I heard that she sent the other aunt $1000 for food.  That simply just does not happen on that side of the family. They didn't even want me to come up and check on them.  It was only after I showed up at the door that they broke down and revealed the true extent of the damage.  She had even spent the $1000 she got from the other aunt of credit card bills instead of food.  The primary reason they let me buy the six months worth of groceries was to hide that from her sister.  They are more concerned about hiding their problems from the rest of the family than actually trying to fix them.    

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skliss
5 hours ago, Gromdor said:

  The uncle only did 4yrs in the service, so he isn't looking at the full array of benefits.  The biggest problem is the flat out refusal of any aid.  The aunt's older sisters and brothers planned their retirements correctly.  But now they are all retired with fixed incomes with minimum flexibility to help. However, I'm not exactly poor.  The problem is pride.  All the resources are there to help them, but for it to work they need to declare bankruptcy and (in their eyes) admit to the rest of the family that failed and need help.  Her elder sister is a hardcore life long personal responsibility, die-hard fiscal republican.  One of the biggest alarm bells is when I heard that she sent the other aunt $1000 for food.  That simply just does not happen on that side of the family. They didn't even want me to come up and check on them.  It was only after I showed up at the door that they broke down and revealed the true extent of the damage.  She had even spent the $1000 she got from the other aunt of credit card bills instead of food.  The primary reason they let me buy the six months worth of groceries was to hide that from her sister.  They are more concerned about hiding their problems from the rest of the family than actually trying to fix them.    

That's a shame...surely there is something other than bankruptcy? It sounds like they might have been imprudent with cards before any of this happened. Many people do that so they are not alone there.  Ya know...why is it anyone else's business? Why can't they do the bankruptcy but not tell anyone? How would they find out?  What about those reverse mortgages Tom Selleck is always talking about? I think they get your house when you die or something but am not sure. They don't have anyone to leave it to. Odd that their family is so uncharitable, on the whole conservatives give more. Keep Dollar Tree in mind for them. Might help to stretch what money they do have.

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Gromdor

They already refinanced the house and to be honest, it should be condemned.  They don't have enough equity to reverse mortgage and the bank is unlikely to value it at any measurable worth.  The current credit card debt alone is over 30K and their minimum debt payments exceed their social security which is their only income, so they have been using more credit to pay bills and purchase food.  They have always been imprudent which is why the family didn't help. (and they are all older than her and in retirement homes themselves)  Honestly, they couldn't really have done anything worse than what they did choice-wise.  They are spending all their money on debt and mortgage for a house which isn't even worth the value of the mortgage.  Which is the true shame.  If they walked away from that, their social security should be enough for the basics.

Their second issue is lack of a social network.  They would either need to go into assisted living or I could move them closer to me.  No one ever stopping by the house to check/visit them is a serious problem.  They are physically incapable of maintaining their current house even if they had the money to do it.  Let alone drive regularly to get food.

It's all just pride.  It just now got to the point where they couldn't hide it anymore and unfortunately too late to fix while maintaining their old lifestyle.  I should add that the uncle's side has no one.

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skliss
16 hours ago, Gromdor said:

They already refinanced the house and to be honest, it should be condemned.  They don't have enough equity to reverse mortgage and the bank is unlikely to value it at any measurable worth.  The current credit card debt alone is over 30K and their minimum debt payments exceed their social security which is their only income, so they have been using more credit to pay bills and purchase food.  They have always been imprudent which is why the family didn't help. (and they are all older than her and in retirement homes themselves)  Honestly, they couldn't really have done anything worse than what they did choice-wise.  They are spending all their money on debt and mortgage for a house which isn't even worth the value of the mortgage.  Which is the true shame.  If they walked away from that, their social security should be enough for the basics.

Their second issue is lack of a social network.  They would either need to go into assisted living or I could move them closer to me.  No one ever stopping by the house to check/visit them is a serious problem.  They are physically incapable of maintaining their current house even if they had the money to do it.  Let alone drive regularly to get food.

It's all just pride.  It just now got to the point where they couldn't hide it anymore and unfortunately too late to fix while maintaining their old lifestyle.  I should add that the uncle's side has no one.

Sounds like you said, one bad choice after another. I had a friend who's Mom, unbeknownst to her,  got caught up in those checks they send with your credit card bill. She had never handled the money while the Dad was alive, didnt know how after he passed and when she screwed everything up she thought that "free" money was the answer.  Pretty soon she was using checks from one to pay the other. My friend didn't find out until the situation was dire. They ended up forcing her to see the light, sell her assets and she moved in with them. Good luck! I hope you can figure out a solution for them.

P.S. my dad made me promise if something happened to him I would sit down and teach my mom how to handle money and I did. It wasn't easy and she got frustrated but it was worth it. People need to think about that for their older relations.

Edited by skliss

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Robotic Jew
On 9/7/2018 at 5:28 PM, XenoFish said:

Too many fail to prepare for the worst. 

Too many fail to have the opportunity to do so.

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